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What does the Uncertainty Principle tell us?

Lasagna
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10/19/2011 10:45:05 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
You reduce the speed of time until nearly 0, at which point matter becomes a sea of chaos.

You can reduce size until nearly 0, at which point you you observe a sea of particles annihilating each other and forming out of thin air.

You can reduce the temperature of a substance to nearly zero, which turns each atom into a smear instead of a point (most likely, the closer you get to 0, the larger the smear becomes).

You can eliminate the ability to view a particle, which allows it to be anything it possibly can.

So what philosophical conclusions can we draw?
Rob
RoyLatham
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10/19/2011 12:59:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The uncertainty principal is that both the position of a particle and its momentum (mass x velocity) cannot be specified with arbitrary accuracy. We will alwaysbe uncertain of one or the other.

The classic concept of determinism is that the universe plays out deterministically as if it were a pool table with complicated but predetermined collisions. Sine everything is predetermined, free will is an illusion You only thing you can change the future, But you cannot. The uncertainty principal, along with other discoveries of modern physics, destroys the concept of determinism.

It is not the case that particles have precise positions and momentum, but we just cannot measure them. The functioning of the universe according to observed physical laws requires that things exist only as probability distributions. The future of the universe is necessarily unpredictable. The concept of determinism is destroyed.

If determinism cannot exist, how is free will defined? The problem of free will cannot be considered until a new definition is crafted. It's no good saying that some future will play out, and that we cannot depart from that script even though the script is unknown. The script is inherently undefined and cannot be claimed as conceptually determined.

I made a list of inherently unpredictable events described by modern physics. It's in R1 of http://www.debate.org... and includes references.
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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10/19/2011 1:22:10 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Dude, the universe is like a wave. We are all like overtones of the big note, maaaan.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Kinesis
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10/19/2011 1:37:01 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/19/2011 12:59:48 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
The classic concept of determinism is that the universe plays out deterministically as if it were a pool table with complicated but predetermined collisions. Sine everything is predetermined, free will is an illusion You only thing you can change the future, But you cannot.

Just because everything is determined (and I get the impression that this is still the case at the macro level even if quantum indeterminacy is correct) doesn't mean you can't change the future. All it means is that the role we play in shaping the future is deterministic in nature - i.e. the changes we make flow from our character along with other predetermined conditions. I'm leaning towards thinking that's all that's required for free will. That and the fact that the alternative (indeterminism about our choices) ultimately boils down to randomness or chance, neither of which are remotely satisfactory accounts of free will.
Wnope
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10/19/2011 2:05:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I am very shaky on QM, but from what I've been told, isn't Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle based on the fact that in order to measure the velocity of a photon, your measuring device will effect the position of that photon? If you want to measure the position of the photon, it will effect the velocity.
Lasagna
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10/19/2011 2:42:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/19/2011 2:05:14 PM, Wnope wrote:
I am very shaky on QM, but from what I've been told, isn't Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle based on the fact that in order to measure the velocity of a photon, your measuring device will effect the position of that photon? If you want to measure the position of the photon, it will effect the velocity.

Yes and no. Yes it is true that the only physically possible way to detect something is to crash something else to it and record where the disturbed particles moved. However, I believe we are finding out now that it is much deeper than that. I saw an awesome documentary recently (I'll try and find it if you want) and they ran an experiment which proved that the only variable of importance was whether or not the universe "knew" about it. IOWs, think of a video game which is created and shipped to you, and you plug it into your Atari machine. There are 8 levels, but you never play past level 6. If the universe was the video game, then levels 7 and 8 aren't just unviewed; they are in a quantum flux (for lack of precise terminology) of some sort and occupy many different possibilities simultaneously.

I'll try and describe the experiment the best I can. They had some kind of particles going in through a tube to this chamber, and then exiting on the opposite side. Each time a particle went through, it had a 50% chance of entering one of two states. In the first state, it would phase out and nothing would happen (the energy would be dispersed in some other fashion). In the second state, it would create an arc to the second tube exiting the apparatus. So, as expected, as they fed the particles into the machine, they would get a flash on about 50% of them and blanks for the other half.

The remarkable thing about the experiment was that the chamber they were feeding these particles into could be shut off from being viewed by any known means (I would imagine cooling was involved amongst other devices). When they activated this ability, all of a sudden every particle that went through was arcing across. In essence, the particle entered an area where the universe could not detect anything from it (I imagine this meant no other particles interacted with it?). This caused the particle to exist in duel realities, both having the properties that would make it arc and not - it was behaving in both states simultaneously.

This phenomenon has been seen before in the two-slit experiment (I've heard different interpretations of it, so I use Hawking's). Hawking says that even if you slow photons down to one at a time, they still create an interference pattern - IOWS each photon travels through both slits simultaneously and interferes with itself. One would otherwise just assume that interference patterns were created by separate photons (quanta) interfering with each other.

I think the interesting part to think about is whether this phenomenon exists in the psychological world. If you shuffle some cards and deal me in, and no living being knows what cards I have yet, are the face-down cards frantically fluctuating between all possibilities until I flip it up and lock it in? I believe the documentary mentioned earlier drew this conclusion. If uncertainty can be harnassed and exploited (i.e., I could alter the reality of cards not flipped up and control them somehow), then I can't imagine the technological implications.
Rob
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,250
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10/20/2011 4:10:46 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/19/2011 1:37:01 PM, Kinesis wrote:
At 10/19/2011 12:59:48 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
The classic concept of determinism is that the universe plays out deterministically as if it were a pool table with complicated but predetermined collisions. Sine everything is predetermined, free will is an illusion You only thing you can change the future, But you cannot.

Just because everything is determined (and I get the impression that this is still the case at the macro level even if quantum indeterminacy is correct) doesn't mean you can't change the future. All it means is that the role we play in shaping the future is deterministic in nature - i.e. the changes we make flow from our character along with other predetermined conditions. I'm leaning towards thinking that's all that's required for free will. That and the fact that the alternative (indeterminism about our choices) ultimately boils down to randomness or chance, neither of which are remotely satisfactory accounts of free will.

I thought Roy just showed how determinism is unlikely.
Raisor
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10/20/2011 9:48:07 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Ive taken two university level classes on quantum mechanics- math intensive physics courses required for my engineering degree.

The biggest thing I took away from those classes was that almost everyone who has not had formal physics training or has not read at least read a book written by a reputable physicist will misunderstand or misrepresent QM.

This is doubly true when someone tries to import results from QM into philosophy. People almost always interpret QM in whatever way best falls in line with their philosophical viewpoints, despite having a generally poor understanding of the intricacies of the science.

All of that being said, I think QM does have philosophical implications and I think it is worth looking at so long as you are committed to actually studying what physicists have to say. Honestly the jury is still out on a lot of the implications of QM or even how to interpret some of the physical results of QM
Lasagna
Posts: 2,440
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10/20/2011 10:33:22 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 9:48:07 AM, Raisor wrote:
Ive taken two university level classes on quantum mechanics- math intensive physics courses required for my engineering degree.

The biggest thing I took away from those classes was that almost everyone who has not had formal physics training or has not read at least read a book written by a reputable physicist will misunderstand or misrepresent QM.

This is doubly true when someone tries to import results from QM into philosophy. People almost always interpret QM in whatever way best falls in line with their philosophical viewpoints, despite having a generally poor understanding of the intricacies of the science.

All of that being said, I think QM does have philosophical implications and I think it is worth looking at so long as you are committed to actually studying what physicists have to say. Honestly the jury is still out on a lot of the implications of QM or even how to interpret some of the physical results of QM

... in which case you put down the mathbooks and just listen to what the physics greats have concluded from their work. Taking the conglomerate of these opinions and sorting them out is a worthy cause.
Rob
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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10/20/2011 1:16:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 9:48:07 AM, Raisor wrote:
Ive taken two university level classes on quantum mechanics- math intensive physics courses required for my engineering degree.

The biggest thing I took away from those classes was that almost everyone who has not had formal physics training or has not read at least read a book written by a reputable physicist will misunderstand or misrepresent QM.

This is doubly true when someone tries to import results from QM into philosophy. People almost always interpret QM in whatever way best falls in line with their philosophical viewpoints, despite having a generally poor understanding of the intricacies of the science.

All of that being said, I think QM does have philosophical implications and I think it is worth looking at so long as you are committed to actually studying what physicists have to say. Honestly the jury is still out on a lot of the implications of QM or even how to interpret some of the physical results of QM

This
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Raisor
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10/20/2011 2:15:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 10:33:22 AM, Lasagna wrote:
At 10/20/2011 9:48:07 AM, Raisor wrote:
Ive taken two university level classes on quantum mechanics- math intensive physics courses required for my engineering degree.

The biggest thing I took away from those classes was that almost everyone who has not had formal physics training or has not read at least read a book written by a reputable physicist will misunderstand or misrepresent QM.

This is doubly true when someone tries to import results from QM into philosophy. People almost always interpret QM in whatever way best falls in line with their philosophical viewpoints, despite having a generally poor understanding of the intricacies of the science.

All of that being said, I think QM does have philosophical implications and I think it is worth looking at so long as you are committed to actually studying what physicists have to say. Honestly the jury is still out on a lot of the implications of QM or even how to interpret some of the physical results of QM

... in which case you put down the mathbooks and just listen to what the physics greats have concluded from their work. Taking the conglomerate of these opinions and sorting them out is a worthy cause.

Except the math behind QM is often the best description of it. There is a reason physics is described in terms of mathematics. The Uncertainty Principle itself is a mathematical expression- if you dont understand the inequality as it is expressed mathematically, you wont understand it properly.

Anyways, Ive never heard any of the "physics greats" express anything like what your OP contained. I can hardly imagine Born saying "You reduce the speed of time until nearly 0, at which point matter becomes a sea of chaos."
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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10/20/2011 2:28:51 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 10:33:22 AM, Lasagna wrote:
At 10/20/2011 9:48:07 AM, Raisor wrote:
Ive taken two university level classes on quantum mechanics- math intensive physics courses required for my engineering degree.

The biggest thing I took away from those classes was that almost everyone who has not had formal physics training or has not read at least read a book written by a reputable physicist will misunderstand or misrepresent QM.

This is doubly true when someone tries to import results from QM into philosophy. People almost always interpret QM in whatever way best falls in line with their philosophical viewpoints, despite having a generally poor understanding of the intricacies of the science.

All of that being said, I think QM does have philosophical implications and I think it is worth looking at so long as you are committed to actually studying what physicists have to say. Honestly the jury is still out on a lot of the implications of QM or even how to interpret some of the physical results of QM

... in which case you put down the mathbooks and just listen to what the physics greats have concluded from their work. Taking the conglomerate of these opinions and sorting them out is a worthy cause.

This seems to be a bit disingenuous. Your initial post asked an open ended question. When someone responded, you come up with "Just listen to what the "physics greats" have concluded." Well, if you know what the physics greats have concluded, then that's the answer to your question.

More to the point, listening to the great physicists is precisely what Raisor suggested: "I think QM does have philosophical implications and I think it is worth looking at so long as you are committed to actually studying what physicists have to say."

I think a big issue here is that QM has shown us that nature, on the QM level, is very counter-intuitive. We cannot rely on our intuition to guide us here and even the scenarios using lay-terms (such as Schrodinger's Cat) can only get us so far. That is why we should stick to the math. That is the true description of the world at that level. Unfortunately, these facts have allowed kooks to come in and claim all sorts of nonsense regarding QM, like, the entire movie "What the *bleep* do we know?"
Raisor
Posts: 4,459
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10/20/2011 2:47:54 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 2:28:51 PM, drafterman wrote:
Unfortunately, these facts have allowed kooks to come in and claim all sorts of nonsense regarding QM, like, the entire movie "What the *bleep* do we know?"

This is exactly my point. QM is easily abused in philosophy, so if you intend on doing philosophy in any manner more serious than circle jerking with your smoking/drinking buddies you should either leave it alone or be prepared to do some serious studying.

Not that theres anything wrong with circle jerking with your smoking/drinking buddies (whether philosophy is involved or not).
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/20/2011 4:00:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
What does the Uncertainty Principle tell me? Hmm, I can't be certain.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Lasagna
Posts: 2,440
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10/20/2011 6:43:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 2:15:50 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 10/20/2011 10:33:22 AM, Lasagna wrote:
At 10/20/2011 9:48:07 AM, Raisor wrote:
Ive taken two university level classes on quantum mechanics- math intensive physics courses required for my engineering degree.

The biggest thing I took away from those classes was that almost everyone who has not had formal physics training or has not read at least read a book written by a reputable physicist will misunderstand or misrepresent QM.

This is doubly true when someone tries to import results from QM into philosophy. People almost always interpret QM in whatever way best falls in line with their philosophical viewpoints, despite having a generally poor understanding of the intricacies of the science.

All of that being said, I think QM does have philosophical implications and I think it is worth looking at so long as you are committed to actually studying what physicists have to say. Honestly the jury is still out on a lot of the implications of QM or even how to interpret some of the physical results of QM

... in which case you put down the mathbooks and just listen to what the physics greats have concluded from their work. Taking the conglomerate of these opinions and sorting them out is a worthy cause.

Except the math behind QM is often the best description of it. There is a reason physics is described in terms of mathematics. The Uncertainty Principle itself is a mathematical expression- if you dont understand the inequality as it is expressed mathematically, you wont understand it properly.

It is true that you must interpret mathematics to find the truth, but one of the primary goals of science is to translate complexities into simple terms. "Theories" cannot become "laws," for instance, until they meet a standard of simplicity (even if they are as sound as can possibly be in their complex forms). Conclusions can be drawn by the experts and translated into relatively simple terms for us to comprehend.

Anyways, Ive never heard any of the "physics greats" express anything like what your OP contained. I can hardly imagine Born saying "You reduce the speed of time until nearly 0, at which point matter becomes a sea of chaos."

As time approaches zero, particles no longer have well defined positions - it is pure chaos. If you stopped time, people wouldn't just stand motionless - they would disappear into a haze of chaotic possibilities.
Rob
Raisor
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10/20/2011 7:09:02 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 6:43:05 PM, Lasagna wrote:

It is true that you must interpret mathematics to find the truth, but one of the primary goals of science is to translate complexities into simple terms. "Theories" cannot become "laws," for instance, until they meet a standard of simplicity (even if they are as sound as can possibly be in their complex forms). Conclusions can be drawn by the experts and translated into relatively simple terms for us to comprehend.


I actually cannot think of a single law of physics that isnt expressed most fundamentally by a mathematical expression. I am certainly no physics guru, but I have rigorously studied quite a bit of it.

As time approaches zero, particles no longer have well defined positions - it is pure chaos. If you stopped time, people wouldn't just stand motionless - they would disappear into a haze of chaotic possibilities.

Please note my original point that it is best to not stray from established physics theory. This seems to be your own romantic interpretation of quantum. I do not believe you will find your interpretation of QM espoused by major players in the field.
charleslb
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10/20/2011 8:10:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 4:00:56 PM, charleslb wrote:
What does the Uncertainty Principle tell me? Hmm, I can't be certain.

For any prosaic and behind-the-times adherents of a mechanistically materialistic ontology, the above reply was merely my laconic and lighthearted way of saying that the non-tangable ultimate nature of existence allows for an element of uncertainty, variability, and paradoxicality (one instance of which is captured in Herr Doktor Professor Heisenberg's realization that it's impossible to simultaneously measure with precision the position and momentum of a particle). This is not at all to say that reality is excessively loose, so to speak, in or owing to its non-tangibility/experiential nature; nor is it wantonly promiscuous in its uncertainty, variability, and paradoxicality; that would make for a much higher degree of chaos than we typically observe and experience. Rather, what's being said is that at the most fundamental level, being is not any kind of concrete stuff, but rather pure becoming; i.e. creativity-perennially-in-process, charcterized by a high degree of creative freedom, openness of and to its own intrinsic possibilities, and consequently openness to "uncertainty" and choice – "choice", however, meaning not merely capriciousness but intentionality, hence the purposefulness informing much of nature and preventing indeterminism from giving way to total orderlessness. Yep, I was hinting at all that. Ha! So much for me remaining laconic.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Lasagna
Posts: 2,440
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10/20/2011 8:50:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 7:09:02 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 10/20/2011 6:43:05 PM, Lasagna wrote:

It is true that you must interpret mathematics to find the truth, but one of the primary goals of science is to translate complexities into simple terms. "Theories" cannot become "laws," for instance, until they meet a standard of simplicity (even if they are as sound as can possibly be in their complex forms). Conclusions can be drawn by the experts and translated into relatively simple terms for us to comprehend.


I actually cannot think of a single law of physics that isnt expressed most fundamentally by a mathematical expression. I am certainly no physics guru, but I have rigorously studied quite a bit of it.

As time approaches zero, particles no longer have well defined positions - it is pure chaos. If you stopped time, people wouldn't just stand motionless - they would disappear into a haze of chaotic possibilities.

Please note my original point that it is best to not stray from established physics theory. This seems to be your own romantic interpretation of quantum. I do not believe you will find your interpretation of QM espoused by major players in the field.

I don't have personal interpretations - they come from "players in the field" already.
Rob
Raisor
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10/20/2011 9:15:31 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 8:50:05 PM, Lasagna wrote:
At 10/20/2011 7:09:02 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 10/20/2011 6:43:05 PM, Lasagna wrote:

It is true that you must interpret mathematics to find the truth, but one of the primary goals of science is to translate complexities into simple terms. "Theories" cannot become "laws," for instance, until they meet a standard of simplicity (even if they are as sound as can possibly be in their complex forms). Conclusions can be drawn by the experts and translated into relatively simple terms for us to comprehend.


I actually cannot think of a single law of physics that isnt expressed most fundamentally by a mathematical expression. I am certainly no physics guru, but I have rigorously studied quite a bit of it.

As time approaches zero, particles no longer have well defined positions - it is pure chaos. If you stopped time, people wouldn't just stand motionless - they would disappear into a haze of chaotic possibilities.

Please note my original point that it is best to not stray from established physics theory. This seems to be your own romantic interpretation of quantum. I do not believe you will find your interpretation of QM espoused by major players in the field.

I don't have personal interpretations - they come from "players in the field" already.

[citation needed]
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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10/20/2011 9:18:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
What I don't get is whether the philosophical arguments like ontological and cosmological arguments have any basis in quantum physics. Are they both related? Where does one end and the other begin? I see a lot of people posting string theory etc as a rebuttal to the philosophical arguments.
sadolite
Posts: 8,837
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10/20/2011 11:31:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 9:48:07 AM, Raisor wrote:
Ive taken two university level classes on quantum mechanics- math intensive physics courses required for my engineering degree.

The biggest thing I took away from those classes was that almost everyone who has not had formal physics training or has not read at least read a book written by a reputable physicist will misunderstand or misrepresent QM.

This is doubly true when someone tries to import results from QM into philosophy. People almost always interpret QM in whatever way best falls in line with their philosophical viewpoints, despite having a generally poor understanding of the intricacies of the science.

All of that being said, I think QM does have philosophical implications and I think it is worth looking at so long as you are committed to actually studying what physicists have to say. Honestly the jury is still out on a lot of the implications of QM or even how to interpret some of the physical results of QM

"Honestly the jury is still out on a lot of the implications of QM or even how to interpret some of the physical results of QM"

Not when it comes to getting more gov't funding to conduct more QM experiments. Then everything is possible and wild beyond your dreams breakthroughs have been made or will be made.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
Raisor
Posts: 4,459
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10/20/2011 11:37:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 11:31:12 PM, sadolite wrote:
At 10/20/2011 9:48:07 AM, Raisor wrote:
Ive taken two university level classes on quantum mechanics- math intensive physics courses required for my engineering degree.

The biggest thing I took away from those classes was that almost everyone who has not had formal physics training or has not read at least read a book written by a reputable physicist will misunderstand or misrepresent QM.

This is doubly true when someone tries to import results from QM into philosophy. People almost always interpret QM in whatever way best falls in line with their philosophical viewpoints, despite having a generally poor understanding of the intricacies of the science.

All of that being said, I think QM does have philosophical implications and I think it is worth looking at so long as you are committed to actually studying what physicists have to say. Honestly the jury is still out on a lot of the implications of QM or even how to interpret some of the physical results of QM

"Honestly the jury is still out on a lot of the implications of QM or even how to interpret some of the physical results of QM"

Not when it comes to getting more gov't funding to conduct more QM experiments. Then everything is possible and wild beyond your dreams breakthroughs have been made or will be made.

Im just going to take a stab at this and guess that you have no idea how NSF operates or what the grant rate is for the field of QM.

Also going to guess that you have no idea what the practical applications of QM are or that a good deal of QM research is privately funded.
sadolite
Posts: 8,837
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10/21/2011 12:30:36 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 11:37:36 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 10/20/2011 11:31:12 PM, sadolite wrote:
At 10/20/2011 9:48:07 AM, Raisor wrote:
I've taken two university level classes on quantum mechanics- math intensive physics courses required for my engineering degree.

The biggest thing I took away from those classes was that almost everyone who has not had formal physics training or has not read at least read a book written by a reputable physicist will misunderstand or misrepresent QM.

This is doubly true when someone tries to import results from QM into philosophy. People almost always interpret QM in whatever way best falls in line with their philosophical viewpoints, despite having a generally poor understanding of the intricacies of the science.

All of that being said, I think QM does have philosophical implications and I think it is worth looking at so long as you are committed to actually studying what physicists have to say. Honestly the jury is still out on a lot of the implications of QM or even how to interpret some of the physical results of QM

"Honestly the jury is still out on a lot of the implications of QM or even how to interpret some of the physical results of QM"

Not when it comes to getting more govt funding to conduct more QM experiments. Then everything is possible and wild beyond your dreams breakthroughs have been made or will be made.

I'm just going to take a stab at this and guess that you have no idea how NSF operates or what the grant rate is for the field of QM.

Also going to guess that you have no idea what the practical applications of QM are or that a good deal of QM research is privately funded.

There are no practical applications other than the transistor 50 years ago a more accurate clock 40 years ago a more accurate thermometer 40 years ago and a couple other non profitable unviable theories and last but not least "teleportation". QM is a horrible investment other than the manufactures of the toys used to conduct the experiments. Could not find any data on private vs public funding. QM has stalled and pretty much offered all it has to offer. I'm not against science, I am against research that does not produce profitable results over a reasonable period of time at my expense, The tax payer. Tax payer money should be used on other things that will improve living standards. IF QM was a good bet it would not need public funding just like solar power (Solyndra)
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
Lasagna
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10/21/2011 12:38:10 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/21/2011 12:30:36 AM, sadolite wrote:
At 10/20/2011 11:37:36 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 10/20/2011 11:31:12 PM, sadolite wrote:
At 10/20/2011 9:48:07 AM, Raisor wrote:
I've taken two university level classes on quantum mechanics- math intensive physics courses required for my engineering degree.

The biggest thing I took away from those classes was that almost everyone who has not had formal physics training or has not read at least read a book written by a reputable physicist will misunderstand or misrepresent QM.

This is doubly true when someone tries to import results from QM into philosophy. People almost always interpret QM in whatever way best falls in line with their philosophical viewpoints, despite having a generally poor understanding of the intricacies of the science.

All of that being said, I think QM does have philosophical implications and I think it is worth looking at so long as you are committed to actually studying what physicists have to say. Honestly the jury is still out on a lot of the implications of QM or even how to interpret some of the physical results of QM

"Honestly the jury is still out on a lot of the implications of QM or even how to interpret some of the physical results of QM"

Not when it comes to getting more govt funding to conduct more QM experiments. Then everything is possible and wild beyond your dreams breakthroughs have been made or will be made.

I'm just going to take a stab at this and guess that you have no idea how NSF operates or what the grant rate is for the field of QM.

Also going to guess that you have no idea what the practical applications of QM are or that a good deal of QM research is privately funded.

There are no practical applications other than the transistor 50 years ago a more accurate clock 40 years ago a more accurate thermometer 40 years ago and a couple other non profitable unviable theories and last but not least "teleportation". QM is a horrible investment other than the manufactures of the toys used to conduct the experiments. Could not find any data on private vs public funding. QM has stalled and pretty much offered all it has to offer. I'm not against science, I am against research that does not produce profitable results over a reasonable period of time at my expense, The tax payer. Tax payer money should be used on other things that will improve living standards. IF QM was a good bet it would not need public funding just like solar power (Solyndra)

Maybe if you read the research you wouldn't feel so ripped off...
Rob
Raisor
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10/21/2011 12:50:32 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/21/2011 12:30:36 AM, sadolite wrote:
At 10/20/2011 11:37:36 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 10/20/2011 11:31:12 PM, sadolite wrote:
At 10/20/2011 9:48:07 AM, Raisor wrote:
I've taken two university level classes on quantum mechanics- math intensive physics courses required for my engineering degree.

The biggest thing I took away from those classes was that almost everyone who has not had formal physics training or has not read at least read a book written by a reputable physicist will misunderstand or misrepresent QM.

This is doubly true when someone tries to import results from QM into philosophy. People almost always interpret QM in whatever way best falls in line with their philosophical viewpoints, despite having a generally poor understanding of the intricacies of the science.

All of that being said, I think QM does have philosophical implications and I think it is worth looking at so long as you are committed to actually studying what physicists have to say. Honestly the jury is still out on a lot of the implications of QM or even how to interpret some of the physical results of QM

"Honestly the jury is still out on a lot of the implications of QM or even how to interpret some of the physical results of QM"

Not when it comes to getting more govt funding to conduct more QM experiments. Then everything is possible and wild beyond your dreams breakthroughs have been made or will be made.

I'm just going to take a stab at this and guess that you have no idea how NSF operates or what the grant rate is for the field of QM.

Also going to guess that you have no idea what the practical applications of QM are or that a good deal of QM research is privately funded.

There are no practical applications other than the transistor 50 years ago a more accurate clock 40 years ago a more accurate thermometer 40 years ago and a couple other non profitable unviable theories and last but not least "teleportation". QM is a horrible investment other than the manufactures of the toys used to conduct the experiments. Could not find any data on private vs public funding. QM has stalled and pretty much offered all it has to offer. I'm not against science, I am against research that does not produce profitable results over a reasonable period of time at my expense, The tax payer. Tax payer money should be used on other things that will improve living standards. IF QM was a good bet it would not need public funding just like solar power (Solyndra)

FYI Solyndra declared bankruptcy and is being investigated for a whole number of things. Totally random but I just learned that today from an engineering buddy of mine.

Also, QM is used in developing MRI methods- e.g. improving resolution. Heard this from a PhD electrical engineer doing research on that very topic (likely with NSF/govt. money). QM is also needed for the design of electron microscopes. QM has applications in computing- yes quantum computing is pie in the sky now but you have to do the research to find out if it is feasible. QM also has applications in cryptography- e.g. internet security. Also - and Im going to apologize in advance for this- electrical engineer friend is working on a research project involving signal resolution or something and apparently QM is needed for it- I honestly just didnt understand it when he explained it over a year ago.

I dont mean this in an antagonistic way Sadolite but you are quite simply wrong that QM has no cutting edge applications.

Also Im pretty sure all NSF grant info is publicly available. You can at least see recently granted awards, idk where you might find analysis of grants but Im sure CBO or someone has info on it.
Lasagna
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10/21/2011 1:20:55 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Wiki:

"One Planck time is the time it would take a photon travelling at the speed of light to cross a distance equal to one Planck length. Theoretically, this is the smallest time measurement that will ever be possible,[3] roughly 10^43 seconds. Within the framework of the laws of physics as we understand them today, for times less than one Planck time apart, we can neither measure nor detect any change"

There is no way to detect any change. Experiments have shown that when you cannot detect something, then it does not exist in the same sense as that which can be detected - it will exist in an "uncertain" state, not just philosophically speaking (tree falls, can't hear it, ...), but in reality the particles will fluctuate between different states of possibility.

I saw the experiment in a documentary I watched about two weeks ago, I can't remember what the name was but I'll try to track it down if you don't think the idea has merit. They literally flipped a switch and turned off any ability to "view" the chamber, and the particles that went into the chamber started existing in two simultaneous states. They had a 50% chance of phasing out while in the chamber, and indeed would only arc across to the other side 50% of the time. As soon as they flipped the switch, 100% of them arced because they were both phasing out and arcing every time.

I believe it was Brian Greene's Elegant Universe where I got the idea about slowing time down. He was explaining that if you were able to hypothetically slow time to a halt, the state of the matter would start to fluctuate wildly and it would certainly not look like it was just real life but standing still. He had similar examples like the "h-bar" where the proportion of size decreased to the planck length and ice was rattling out of the cups because they were quantum tunneling. More than once he described the smallest of the small (planck length) as a seething broth or quantum foam, where particles are continously appearing and annihilating one another.

I saw another documentary where they lowered temperature to it's record and they were describing how after a certain low temperature, particles would not simply stand still like you would imagine, but would start to "smear" through space in some weird QM way (they wouldn't occupy a single point).
Rob
drafterman
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10/21/2011 7:29:24 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/21/2011 1:20:55 AM, Lasagna wrote:
Wiki:

"One Planck time is the time it would take a photon travelling at the speed of light to cross a distance equal to one Planck length. Theoretically, this is the smallest time measurement that will ever be possible,[3] roughly 10^43 seconds. Within the framework of the laws of physics as we understand them today, for times less than one Planck time apart, we can neither measure nor detect any change"

There is no way to detect any change. Experiments have shown that when you cannot detect something, then it does not exist in the same sense as that which can be detected - it will exist in an "uncertain" state, not just philosophically speaking (tree falls, can't hear it, ...), but in reality the particles will fluctuate between different states of possibility.

I saw the experiment in a documentary I watched about two weeks ago, I can't remember what the name was but I'll try to track it down if you don't think the idea has merit. They literally flipped a switch and turned off any ability to "view" the chamber, and the particles that went into the chamber started existing in two simultaneous states. They had a 50% chance of phasing out while in the chamber, and indeed would only arc across to the other side 50% of the time. As soon as they flipped the switch, 100% of them arced because they were both phasing out and arcing every time.

I believe it was Brian Greene's Elegant Universe where I got the idea about slowing time down. He was explaining that if you were able to hypothetically slow time to a halt, the state of the matter would start to fluctuate wildly and it would certainly not look like it was just real life but standing still. He had similar examples like the "h-bar" where the proportion of size decreased to the planck length and ice was rattling out of the cups because they were quantum tunneling. More than once he described the smallest of the small (planck length) as a seething broth or quantum foam, where particles are continously appearing and annihilating one another.

I saw another documentary where they lowered temperature to it's record and they were describing how after a certain low temperature, particles would not simply stand still like you would imagine, but would start to "smear" through space in some weird QM way (they wouldn't occupy a single point).

Yes. I've read Brian Greene as well. I think you should reread him.

The inability to even model the universe at those scales is due to the current state of physics. What is odd is that this caveat is in the article you read, quote (meaning you had to manually select, cut, and paste it into this post) and yet you missed it:

"Within the framework of the laws of physics as we understand them today..."

That we can't measure or detect something in accordance with current models does not mean it doesn't exist.

Back to Brian Greene. After explaining the background to relativity, quantum mechanics, the wierdness of both, the incompatibility of both, he then delves into string theory. More to the point, he explains how string theory would do away with this quantum wierdness. The ultra-chaotic foam appears at Planck levels, which would be done away with by string theory by placing a lower limit (at or around Planck levels). If such a physical limit actually exists, then the wierdness present at lower levels doesn't exist.

Now, I'm not saying that string theory is true. But it does show us that alternate possibilities can exist (at least mathematically) which refute the notion that we can simply choose arbitrarily small values for time and distance. That is certainly a component of current point-particle physics, but to translate that as a necessary element of reality is premature.
Cerebral_Narcissist
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10/21/2011 11:58:59 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I don't know, but I've believed for many years it is time for physicists to grow long beards and don pointy hats and long flowing robes.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
headphonegut
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10/21/2011 12:49:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/19/2011 2:42:33 PM, Lasagna wrote:
At 10/19/2011 2:05:14 PM, Wnope wrote:
I am very shaky on QM, but from what I've been told, isn't Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle based on the fact that in order to measure the velocity of a photon, your measuring device will effect the position of that photon? If you want to measure the position of the photon, it will effect the velocity.

Yes and no. Yes it is true that the only physically possible way to detect something is to crash something else to it and record where the disturbed particles moved. However, I believe we are finding out now that it is much deeper than that. I saw an awesome documentary recently (I'll try and find it if you want) and they ran an experiment which proved that the only variable of importance was whether or not the universe "knew" about it. IOWs, think of a video game which is created and shipped to you, and you plug it into your Atari machine. There are 8 levels, but you never play past level 6. If the universe was the video game, then levels 7 and 8 aren't just unviewed; they are in a quantum flux (for lack of precise terminology) of some sort and occupy many different possibilities simultaneously.

I'll try and describe the experiment the best I can. They had some kind of particles going in through a tube to this chamber, and then exiting on the opposite side. Each time a particle went through, it had a 50% chance of entering one of two states. In the first state, it would phase out and nothing would happen (the energy would be dispersed in some other fashion). In the second state, it would create an arc to the second tube exiting the apparatus. So, as expected, as they fed the particles into the machine, they would get a flash on about 50% of them and blanks for the other half.

The remarkable thing about the experiment was that the chamber they were feeding these particles into could be shut off from being viewed by any known means (I would imagine cooling was involved amongst other devices). When they activated this ability, all of a sudden every particle that went through was arcing across. In essence, the particle entered an area where the universe could not detect anything from it (I imagine this meant no other particles interacted with it?). This caused the particle to exist in duel realities, both having the properties that would make it arc and not - it was behaving in both states simultaneously.

This phenomenon has been seen before in the two-slit experiment (I've heard different interpretations of it, so I use Hawking's). Hawking says that even if you slow photons down to one at a time, they still create an interference pattern - IOWS each photon travels through both slits simultaneously and interferes with itself. One would otherwise just assume that interference patterns were created by separate photons (quanta) interfering with each other.

I think the interesting part to think about is whether this phenomenon exists in the psychological world. If you shuffle some cards and deal me in, and no living being knows what cards I have yet, are the face-down cards frantically fluctuating between all possibilities until I flip it up and lock it in? I believe the documentary mentioned earlier drew this conclusion. If uncertainty can be harnassed and exploited (i.e., I could alter the reality of cards not flipped up and control them somehow), then I can't imagine the technological implications.

LOL (cool story bro)
crying to soldiers coming home to their dogs why do I torment myself with these videos?