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Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

000ike
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4/11/2012 8:29:22 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
The general definition is that we cannot determine the location and velocity of a particle at any given moment. However, my intuition is to assume this is due to shortcomings in technology and measurement, but apparently that's false. This is a rule of nature.

Can you explain what exactly the HUP is? And why is it a threat to Determinism?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
darkkermit
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4/12/2012 1:20:23 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/11/2012 8:29:22 PM, 000ike wrote:
The general definition is that we cannot determine the location and velocity of a particle at any given moment. However, my intuition is to assume this is due to shortcomings in technology and measurement, but apparently that's false. This is a rule of nature.

Can you explain what exactly the HUP is? And why is it a threat to Determinism?

Well absence of any interference, the motion of large particles can be deterimined easily. Not the same with small particles. it's not a measurement issue though. During the double-slit experiment, electrons would appear on the screen as a diffraction pattern. It was measured, but the position of the electrons was determined not based on interference or difficult measuring but probability.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
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Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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4/12/2012 2:10:40 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/11/2012 8:29:22 PM, 000ike wrote:
The general definition is that we cannot determine the location and velocity of a particle at any given moment. However, my intuition is to assume this is due to shortcomings in technology and measurement, but apparently that's false. This is a rule of nature.

Can you explain what exactly the HUP is? And why is it a threat to Determinism?

Think of it this way.

You want to measure how a particle is moving, and in order to do that you use the equivalent of, say, what cops use to check your speed on the highway (lasers).

Nothing happens when you measure the speed of a car because the lasers (depending on the system) are too small to have an effect.

Now, imagine what would happen if you aimed this laser, a beam of electrons, at a single particle.

The position of the particle is "observed" when it passes through the laser.

However, the very act of passing through a laser changes the trajectory of the particle.

The very act of measuring position, then, makes it impossible to gauge the original trajectory since the measurement tool changes it.

This is HUGE for scientists, since it means you cannot experiment on particles without taking into account how your very observation of the experiment changes it.

However, for laymen, it isn't quite as interesting.

The quantum mystics took Heisenberg and made it into a metaphysical quandary.

In reality, it's a ground-breaking discovery about the nature of studying physics, not how omniscience is impossible.
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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4/12/2012 5:31:01 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/11/2012 8:29:22 PM, 000ike wrote:
The general definition is that we cannot determine the location and velocity of a particle at any given moment. However, my intuition is to assume this is due to shortcomings in technology and measurement, but apparently that's false. This is a rule of nature.

Can you explain what exactly the HUP is? And why is it a threat to Determinism?

Well, I didn't see this until now.

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is an aspect of reality, because there is nothing that can possibly go faster than the speed of light. So, to things moving at the speed of light, nothing else seems to be moving. To things that aren't moving at the speed of light, that means that everything moving at the speed of light always seems to be moving. Therefore, it's impossible to pinpoint a position at a given time, because it doesn't exist.

Another way of looking at it is to consider the fact that our eyes detect photons. There is a duration of time between when a photon hits your retina and your ocular nerve translates that into a nerve synapse to send it to your cerebral cortex. Therefore, by the time you interpret what you've seen, it is no longer there.

Either way, it indicates that any given particle (like, say, a photon or an electron), is not in any given position, but instead, in several possible position.

This is a threat to determinism, because determinism suggests that what is exists because it was the only possible is that could have existed, when in fact, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle proves that several is's exist simultaneously at all times.
Lasagna
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4/12/2012 8:02:56 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 2:10:40 AM, Wnope wrote:

The very act of measuring position, then, makes it impossible to gauge the original trajectory since the measurement tool changes it.

This is correct but these types of explanations leave newbs with the assumption that it's just our inability to measure the phenomenon that is the root of the cause. The double-slit experiment, again, shows that our percieved "interference" isn't interference at all - even when photons are sent through the slits one at a time they still interfere with each other! The HUP is not a technological hurdle or an incidental inconvenience - it is a fundamental aspect of matter itself. Improving technology will not overcome it, it will simply harnass it.
Rob
000ike
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4/12/2012 9:04:32 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
All I want to know is, is the motion random or is it caused? Is the position of a particle completely random or does a factor (perhaps one we don't know of yet) cause the it to change?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Ren
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4/12/2012 9:28:18 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 9:04:32 AM, 000ike wrote:
All I want to know is, is the motion random or is it caused? Is the position of a particle completely random or does a factor (perhaps one we don't know of yet) cause the it to change?

Motion is caused. You're conflating classical physics and quantum physics. According to classical physics, position is obviously distinct. In quantum physics, position is based on a matrix -- a mathematical statement that's hard to explain prosaically, but perhaps as:

A particle is definitely in a series of potential positions at any given intertial frame.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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4/12/2012 10:06:48 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/11/2012 8:29:22 PM, 000ike wrote:
The general definition is that we cannot determine the location and velocity of a particle at any given moment. However, my intuition is to assume this is due to shortcomings in technology and measurement, but apparently that's false. This is a rule of nature.
I would say that in all likelihood it is NOT a technological hurdle more of a physical hurdle. In other words, it is a rule of nature that apparently cannot be overcome.

Can you explain what exactly the HUP is?
Yes: it is the fact that in a quantum system there will always be pairs of properties that are related in such a way that the more you observe (ie measure) one property then the more you disturb and thus can "know" (ie observe or measure) less about the other.

And why is it a threat to Determinism?
Because when quantum systems are in a state of superposition, they are in the utmost UNDETERMINATE state possible. However, there are counter arguments to this.

All I want to know is, is the motion random or is it caused?
First of all, random & caused are not mutually exclusive. Also, randomness is a VERY subjective term and depending on scales, can have the opposite effect. For example, things that are random in the "short run" tend to be more predictable in the "long run", and vice versa.

Is the position of a particle completely random or does a factor (perhaps one we don't know of yet) cause the it to change?
When something is in superposition, it is said to be in 2 mutually exclusive states at the same time: ie true & false at the same time. Aside from the MYSTICAL aspect, it is only when it is measured that the superposition collapses into a fixed state but ONLY for that property which you are measuring. You can say that the act of measuring CAUSED it Also, this superposition view is an OPINION of what is going on. Also, QM is governed by cause & effect as far as we know.

**************************

At 4/12/2012 1:20:23 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Well absence of any interference, the motion of large particles can be deterimined easily. Not the same with small particles. it's not a measurement issue though. During the double-slit experiment, electrons would appear on the screen as a diffraction pattern. It was measured, but the position of the electrons was determined not based on interference or difficult measuring but probability.
Lol! Not measured but measured!

***********************

At 4/12/2012 2:10:40 AM, Wnope wrote:
Think of it this way.

You want to measure how a particle is moving, and in order to do that you use the equivalent of, say, what cops use to check your speed on the highway (lasers).

Nothing happens when you measure the speed of a car because the lasers (depending on the system) are too small to have an effect.

Now, imagine what would happen if you aimed this laser, a beam of electrons, at a single particle.

The position of the particle is "observed" when it passes through the laser.

However, the very act of passing through a laser changes the trajectory of the particle.

The very act of measuring position, then, makes it impossible to gauge the original trajectory since the measurement tool changes it.

This is HUGE for scientists, since it means you cannot experiment on particles without taking into account how your very observation of the experiment changes it.

However, for laymen, it isn't quite as interesting.

The quantum mystics took Heisenberg and made it into a metaphysical quandary.

In reality, it's a ground-breaking discovery about the nature of studying physics, not how omniscience is impossible.
Bravo! You are spot on! And what's funny to me is how many militant atheists defend this mystical view of the Uncertainty Principle but laugh at the notion of God!

***************************

At 4/12/2012 8:02:56 AM, Lasagna wrote:
This is correct but these types of explanations leave newbs with the assumption that it's just our inability to measure the phenomenon that is the root of the cause. The double-slit experiment, again, shows that our percieved "interference" isn't interference at all - even when photons are sent through the slits one at a time they still interfere with each other!
See bold above.

The HUP is not a technological hurdle or an incidental inconvenience - it is a fundamental aspect of matter itself. Improving technology will not overcome it, it will simply harnass it.
It is a hurdle and a physical aspect of reality; just one we cannot overcome. It is the fact that we must INTERFERE these systems in order to gain information about them.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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4/12/2012 10:13:08 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 10:06:48 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 4/11/2012 8:29:22 PM, 000ike wrote:

And why is it a threat to Determinism?
Because when quantum systems are in a state of superposition, they are in the utmost UNDETERMINATE state possible. However, there are counter arguments to this.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm cognitively incapable of understanding this concept. So, I'll just get down to why I need it. Can you tell what these counter arguments are or show me a link where they're explained?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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4/12/2012 10:14:35 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 10:13:08 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 4/12/2012 10:06:48 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 4/11/2012 8:29:22 PM, 000ike wrote:

And why is it a threat to Determinism?
Because when quantum systems are in a state of superposition, they are in the utmost UNDETERMINATE state possible. However, there are counter arguments to this.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm cognitively incapable of understanding this concept. So, I'll just get down to why I need it. Can you tell what these counter arguments are or show me a link where they're explained?

I think this is a good starting point:

http://en.wikipedia.org...
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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4/12/2012 10:15:56 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 10:06:48 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:

At 4/12/2012 1:20:23 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Well absence of any interference, the motion of large particles can be deterimined easily. Not the same with small particles. it's not a measurement issue though. During the double-slit experiment, electrons would appear on the screen as a diffraction pattern. It was measured, but the position of the electrons was determined not based on interference or difficult measuring but probability.
Lol! Not measured but measured!


Nothing I said contradicted another. It's not a measurement issue though because it is measured.

However, I'm beginning to think my description of what the double-slit experiment is about is wrong.
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tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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4/12/2012 10:37:32 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 10:15:56 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Nothing I said contradicted another. It's not a measurement issue though because it is measured.
You misunderstood: my point is that the act of measuring affects what is being measured.

However, I'm beginning to think my description of what the double-slit experiment is about is wrong.
No, just the fact that it really doesn't have to do with the point about the HUP that's being discussed.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
darkkermit
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4/12/2012 10:53:35 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 10:37:32 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 4/12/2012 10:15:56 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Nothing I said contradicted another. It's not a measurement issue though because it is measured.
You misunderstood: my point is that the act of measuring affects what is being measured.

Yes I see the mistake I made.

However, I'm beginning to think my description of what the double-slit experiment is about is wrong.
No, just the fact that it really doesn't have to do with the point about the HUP that's being discussed.
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Lasagna
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4/12/2012 11:09:38 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 10:06:48 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:

At 4/12/2012 8:02:56 AM, Lasagna wrote:
This is correct but these types of explanations leave newbs with the assumption that it's just our inability to measure the phenomenon that is the root of the cause. The double-slit experiment, again, shows that our percieved "interference" isn't interference at all - even when photons are sent through the slits one at a time they still interfere with each other!
See bold above.

It doesn't appear that you understand what I said.

The HUP is not a technological hurdle or an incidental inconvenience - it is a fundamental aspect of matter itself. Improving technology will not overcome it, it will simply harnass it.
It is a hurdle and a physical aspect of reality; just one we cannot overcome. It is the fact that we must INTERFERE these systems in order to gain information about them.

False. It is not something we could overcome even if we had a purely passive way to scan a particle without disturbing it. That's my point.
Rob
tBoonePickens
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4/12/2012 12:23:32 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 11:09:38 AM, Lasagna wrote:
It doesn't appear that you understand what I said.
Actually I understand you perfectly; however, it is you that does not understand me.

False. It is not something we could overcome even if we had a purely passive way to scan a particle without disturbing it. That's my point.
And you would be wrong. First of all, your statement above is a contradiction: you are basically saying that "if we had a way to overcome this impediment we couldn't over come this impediment." That's nonsense.

You are taking the Copenhagen Interpretation too literally; however, you are not alone. Also, I did not say that we could over come this limitation, but it is a limitation nonetheless.

Let's recap:
1) Our act of measuring AFFECTS what's being measured.
2) It is not the act of "knowing" but the MEASUREMENT that allows us said knowledge that affects the quantum system.

Is there anything that you disagree with here?
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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4/12/2012 12:44:58 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
The Fool: Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is what happens when science is taken as an uncritique faith.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
Wnope
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4/12/2012 2:11:53 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 12:44:58 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
The Fool: Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is what happens when science is taken as an uncritique faith.

FAIL
baggins
Posts: 855
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4/12/2012 2:12:50 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Heisenberg uncertainty principle is really elegant.

Wnope has already tried to explain it, I will try to do it slightly differently.

How do I determine any objects location? The light falls on the object and is reflected and then our eyes see. The thing is, light (or something else) has to fall on an object for any observation to take place. If an object never interacts with any light (or anything else), it is impossible to determine its location. Please note, some interaction has to be there for any observation. This has nothing to do with our eyes. If an object never interacts with anything, no instrument, howsoever perfect, can ever measure its position!

I hope I have not lost everyone already. If you have followed it till here you will be able to understand it completely.

In daily life we use lights of seven colors to see any objects. The wavelength of the light in visible region is 0.3-0.7 microns. (i.e 10^-6 meters).

What is the role of wavelength here? Problem is, using a given light, we cannot see object smaller than wavelength of light! It actually makes sense. If I want to sense an ant, I cannot use large stones!

This means if I want to see someone in more detail that microns, I cannot use simple light. This is rarely a problem in daily life. However size of atom tends to be in Angstrom (or 10^-10m). Size of a nucleus is ~ (10^-15) meters. This means we cannot see atoms or nucleus using simple light. This should not be surprising. Also notice, this nothing to do with human eyes. If the light is of big wavelength, we cannot see small stuff no matter how good our instrument is.

So to smaller objects, we should use lights of smaller wavelength. We can try using X-ray or Gamma Ray. They have smaller wavelength and can help us see smaller stuff.

But there is a problem. Smaller wavelengths, as it turns out, means more energy and momentum. X-rays have much more momentum that visible light. That is why they can cross human bodies.

If you have followed it till here the rest should be a breeze.

How to determine momentum of a particle? We throw some light on it and see what happens to the particle we threw after collision. Again there is a problem. The light we throw should have less momentum than than the particle on which we are throwing it. If we want to determine momentum of an ant, throwing a speeding stone on it is pointless.

This leads to a dilemma. X-rays and Gamma rays are good for determining location because they are 'small'. But they have lots of energy - so they do not give good momentum readings. Radio-waves are 'large'. They do not give good position reading. But they can be nice for measuring momentum as they do not have much energy.

No matter what we do, we cannot have perfect observation of both momentum and position at same time. This will be true no matter how good our instruments are.

I have explained it as simply as possible without getting into the mathematics, IMO.

What is the significance of HUP to philosophy. I don't really know. The uncertainty exists only at extremely small scale. I don't know whether this kind of uncertainty can lead to uncertainty in daily life. Overall I suspect no.
The Holy Quran 29:19-20

See they not how Allah originates creation, then repeats it: truly that is easy for Allah.

Say: "Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things.
drafterman
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4/12/2012 2:15:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 2:12:50 PM, baggins wrote:
Heisenberg uncertainty principle is really elegant.

Wnope has already tried to explain it, I will try to do it slightly differently.

How do I determine any objects location? The light falls on the object and is reflected and then our eyes see. The thing is, light (or something else) has to fall on an object for any observation to take place. If an object never interacts with any light (or anything else), it is impossible to determine its location. Please note, some interaction has to be there for any observation. This has nothing to do with our eyes. If an object never interacts with anything, no instrument, howsoever perfect, can ever measure its position!

I hope I have not lost everyone already. If you have followed it till here you will be able to understand it completely.

In daily life we use lights of seven colors to see any objects. The wavelength of the light in visible region is 0.3-0.7 microns. (i.e 10^-6 meters).

What is the role of wavelength here? Problem is, using a given light, we cannot see object smaller than wavelength of light! It actually makes sense. If I want to sense an ant, I cannot use large stones!

This means if I want to see someone in more detail that microns, I cannot use simple light. This is rarely a problem in daily life. However size of atom tends to be in Angstrom (or 10^-10m). Size of a nucleus is ~ (10^-15) meters. This means we cannot see atoms or nucleus using simple light. This should not be surprising. Also notice, this nothing to do with human eyes. If the light is of big wavelength, we cannot see small stuff no matter how good our instrument is.

So to smaller objects, we should use lights of smaller wavelength. We can try using X-ray or Gamma Ray. They have smaller wavelength and can help us see smaller stuff.

But there is a problem. Smaller wavelengths, as it turns out, means more energy and momentum. X-rays have much more momentum that visible light. That is why they can cross human bodies.

If you have followed it till here the rest should be a breeze.

How to determine momentum of a particle? We throw some light on it and see what happens to the particle we threw after collision. Again there is a problem. The light we throw should have less momentum than than the particle on which we are throwing it. If we want to determine momentum of an ant, throwing a speeding stone on it is pointless.

This leads to a dilemma. X-rays and Gamma rays are good for determining location because they are 'small'. But they have lots of energy - so they do not give good momentum readings. Radio-waves are 'large'. They do not give good position reading. But they can be nice for measuring momentum as they do not have much energy.

No matter what we do, we cannot have perfect observation of both momentum and position at same time. This will be true no matter how good our instruments are.

I have explained it as simply as possible without getting into the mathematics, IMO.

What is the significance of HUP to philosophy. I don't really know. The uncertainty exists only at extremely small scale. I don't know whether this kind of uncertainty can lead to uncertainty in daily life. Overall I suspect no.

I think where you hit snags with most people is the transition from the above, which reads as a inherent problem of practicality to the conclusion that particles actually don't have definite positions or momentums.
000ike
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4/12/2012 2:35:33 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Why are people describing this using experiments where the measuring process disturbs the results? and then you end with the conclusion that the results are natural and not because of the measuring process? This isn't helping. High-energy waves changing the momentum of a particle is easy enough to understand.

But nothing on the internet, nothing in my chemistry or physics books, nothing anyone has said makes the connection to how this isn't just an experimental error.....it's getting really frustrating
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
baggins
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4/12/2012 2:55:52 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 2:35:33 PM, 000ike wrote:
Why are people describing this using experiments where the measuring process disturbs the results? and then you end with the conclusion that the results are natural and not because of the measuring process? This isn't helping. High-energy waves changing the momentum of a particle is easy enough to understand.

But nothing on the internet, nothing in my chemistry or physics books, nothing anyone has said makes the connection to how this isn't just an experimental error.....it's getting really frustrating

It is an experimental error. However it is not an error due to faulty instrument. It is an experimental error which is guaranteed no matter how good your instruments are!

Which leads us to the interesting part which may be slightly confusing. In daily life, we assume that we have a position and a momentum and then we think of experiment to measure it. In quantum world, the measurement process is part of the reality.

If a particle is in a room without interacting with anything whatsoever, then we say that its position is not defined. Its position will be undefined until we do something to measure its position. In quantum world, if a quantity is impossible to measure, we say that the quantity is undefined. It actually makes sense if you think a bit about it.

The idea is that if the nature of an object is such that we cannot measure its position and momentum at same time, it is equivalent to saying that the position and momentum of particle are actually not defined. There is not doubt that this is an experimental problem. However this is not an experimental problem due to faulty instruments! This is an experimental problem inbuilt into the nature of the world!
The Holy Quran 29:19-20

See they not how Allah originates creation, then repeats it: truly that is easy for Allah.

Say: "Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things.
000ike
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4/12/2012 3:01:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 2:55:52 PM, baggins wrote:
At 4/12/2012 2:35:33 PM, 000ike wrote:
Why are people describing this using experiments where the measuring process disturbs the results? and then you end with the conclusion that the results are natural and not because of the measuring process? This isn't helping. High-energy waves changing the momentum of a particle is easy enough to understand.

But nothing on the internet, nothing in my chemistry or physics books, nothing anyone has said makes the connection to how this isn't just an experimental error.....it's getting really frustrating

It is an experimental error. However it is not an error due to faulty instrument. It is an experimental error which is guaranteed no matter how good your instruments are!

Which leads us to the interesting part which may be slightly confusing. In daily life, we assume that we have a position and a momentum and then we think of experiment to measure it. In quantum world, the measurement process is part of the reality.

If a particle is in a room without interacting with anything whatsoever, then we say that its position is not defined. Its position will be undefined until we do something to measure its position. In quantum world, if a quantity is impossible to measure, we say that the quantity is undefined. It actually makes sense if you think a bit about it.

The idea is that if the nature of an object is such that we cannot measure its position and momentum at same time, it is equivalent to saying that the position and momentum of particle are actually not defined. There is not doubt that this is an experimental problem. However this is not an experimental problem due to faulty instruments! This is an experimental problem inbuilt into the nature of the world!

but does the particle have a position and momentum, just that we can't know what it is?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
darkkermit
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4/12/2012 3:08:05 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 2:35:33 PM, 000ike wrote:
Why are people describing this using experiments where the measuring process disturbs the results? and then you end with the conclusion that the results are natural and not because of the measuring process? This isn't helping. High-energy waves changing the momentum of a particle is easy enough to understand.

But nothing on the internet, nothing in my chemistry or physics books, nothing anyone has said makes the connection to how this isn't just an experimental error.....it's getting really frustrating

Our understanding of the physical universe is based on experimental data. It wouldn't make any sense to describe the physical universe using non-experimental data.
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baggins
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4/12/2012 3:10:14 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 3:01:40 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 4/12/2012 2:55:52 PM, baggins wrote:
At 4/12/2012 2:35:33 PM, 000ike wrote:
Why are people describing this using experiments where the measuring process disturbs the results? and then you end with the conclusion that the results are natural and not because of the measuring process? This isn't helping. High-energy waves changing the momentum of a particle is easy enough to understand.

But nothing on the internet, nothing in my chemistry or physics books, nothing anyone has said makes the connection to how this isn't just an experimental error.....it's getting really frustrating

It is an experimental error. However it is not an error due to faulty instrument. It is an experimental error which is guaranteed no matter how good your instruments are!

Which leads us to the interesting part which may be slightly confusing. In daily life, we assume that we have a position and a momentum and then we think of experiment to measure it. In quantum world, the measurement process is part of the reality.

If a particle is in a room without interacting with anything whatsoever, then we say that its position is not defined. Its position will be undefined until we do something to measure its position. In quantum world, if a quantity is impossible to measure, we say that the quantity is undefined. It actually makes sense if you think a bit about it.

The idea is that if the nature of an object is such that we cannot measure its position and momentum at same time, it is equivalent to saying that the position and momentum of particle are actually not defined. There is not doubt that this is an experimental problem. However this is not an experimental problem due to faulty instruments! This is an experimental problem inbuilt into the nature of the world!

but does the particle have a position and momentum, just that we can't know what it is?

As far as physicists are concerned, your statement has no meaning.

Think about it. Your position and your momentum are defined only by the way you interact with light (or other matter). If a particle does not interact with anything at all, then there is no way of defining its position or momentum.
The Holy Quran 29:19-20

See they not how Allah originates creation, then repeats it: truly that is easy for Allah.

Say: "Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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4/12/2012 3:17:41 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 3:10:14 PM, baggins wrote:
At 4/12/2012 3:01:40 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 4/12/2012 2:55:52 PM, baggins wrote:
At 4/12/2012 2:35:33 PM, 000ike wrote:
Why are people describing this using experiments where the measuring process disturbs the results? and then you end with the conclusion that the results are natural and not because of the measuring process? This isn't helping. High-energy waves changing the momentum of a particle is easy enough to understand.

But nothing on the internet, nothing in my chemistry or physics books, nothing anyone has said makes the connection to how this isn't just an experimental error.....it's getting really frustrating

It is an experimental error. However it is not an error due to faulty instrument. It is an experimental error which is guaranteed no matter how good your instruments are!

Which leads us to the interesting part which may be slightly confusing. In daily life, we assume that we have a position and a momentum and then we think of experiment to measure it. In quantum world, the measurement process is part of the reality.

If a particle is in a room without interacting with anything whatsoever, then we say that its position is not defined. Its position will be undefined until we do something to measure its position. In quantum world, if a quantity is impossible to measure, we say that the quantity is undefined. It actually makes sense if you think a bit about it.

The idea is that if the nature of an object is such that we cannot measure its position and momentum at same time, it is equivalent to saying that the position and momentum of particle are actually not defined. There is not doubt that this is an experimental problem. However this is not an experimental problem due to faulty instruments! This is an experimental problem inbuilt into the nature of the world!

but does the particle have a position and momentum, just that we can't know what it is?

As far as physicists are concerned, your statement has no meaning.

Think about it. Your position and your momentum are defined only by the way you interact with light (or other matter). If a particle does not interact with anything at all, then there is no way of defining its position or momentum.

so how does the uncertainty principle imply that particle momentum is random or uncaused? because those are the only ways it can contradict determinism Otherwise, I don't see why so many people use this as a counter argument.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
baggins
Posts: 855
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4/12/2012 3:33:46 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 3:17:41 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 4/12/2012 3:10:14 PM, baggins wrote:
At 4/12/2012 3:01:40 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 4/12/2012 2:55:52 PM, baggins wrote:
At 4/12/2012 2:35:33 PM, 000ike wrote:
Why are people describing this using experiments where the measuring process disturbs the results? and then you end with the conclusion that the results are natural and not because of the measuring process? This isn't helping. High-energy waves changing the momentum of a particle is easy enough to understand.

But nothing on the internet, nothing in my chemistry or physics books, nothing anyone has said makes the connection to how this isn't just an experimental error.....it's getting really frustrating

It is an experimental error. However it is not an error due to faulty instrument. It is an experimental error which is guaranteed no matter how good your instruments are!

Which leads us to the interesting part which may be slightly confusing. In daily life, we assume that we have a position and a momentum and then we think of experiment to measure it. In quantum world, the measurement process is part of the reality.

If a particle is in a room without interacting with anything whatsoever, then we say that its position is not defined. Its position will be undefined until we do something to measure its position. In quantum world, if a quantity is impossible to measure, we say that the quantity is undefined. It actually makes sense if you think a bit about it.

The idea is that if the nature of an object is such that we cannot measure its position and momentum at same time, it is equivalent to saying that the position and momentum of particle are actually not defined. There is not doubt that this is an experimental problem. However this is not an experimental problem due to faulty instruments! This is an experimental problem inbuilt into the nature of the world!

but does the particle have a position and momentum, just that we can't know what it is?

As far as physicists are concerned, your statement has no meaning.

Think about it. Your position and your momentum are defined only by the way you interact with light (or other matter). If a particle does not interact with anything at all, then there is no way of defining its position or momentum.

so how does the uncertainty principle imply that particle momentum is random or uncaused? because those are the only ways it can contradict determinism Otherwise, I don't see why so many people use this as a counter argument.

I am not really sure exact implication of quantum world to philosophy. Problem is - it deals with very small scale phenomenon. It is very difficult to extrapolate quantum mechanics to day to day life.

Anyway the deterministic logic is:
P1. Suppose somehow we know everything about the world at this moment.
P2. Using law of physics, given initial conditions, we can calculate everything about the world at every time in future.
C: If we know everything about this moment, we know everything about future -> The world is deterministic.

The interesting thing is, 'quantum mechanics' violates P1!

Personally, I don't trust P2 either.
The Holy Quran 29:19-20

See they not how Allah originates creation, then repeats it: truly that is easy for Allah.

Say: "Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things.
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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4/12/2012 3:59:42 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 3:33:46 PM, baggins wrote:
At 4/12/2012 3:17:41 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 4/12/2012 3:10:14 PM, baggins wrote:
At 4/12/2012 3:01:40 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 4/12/2012 2:55:52 PM, baggins wrote:
At 4/12/2012 2:35:33 PM, 000ike wrote:
Why are people describing this using experiments where the measuring process disturbs the results? and then you end with the conclusion that the results are natural and not because of the measuring process? This isn't helping. High-energy waves changing the momentum of a particle is easy enough to understand.

But nothing on the internet, nothing in my chemistry or physics books, nothing anyone has said makes the connection to how this isn't just an experimental error.....it's getting really frustrating

It is an experimental error. However it is not an error due to faulty instrument. It is an experimental error which is guaranteed no matter how good your instruments are!

Which leads us to the interesting part which may be slightly confusing. In daily life, we assume that we have a position and a momentum and then we think of experiment to measure it. In quantum world, the measurement process is part of the reality.

If a particle is in a room without interacting with anything whatsoever, then we say that its position is not defined. Its position will be undefined until we do something to measure its position. In quantum world, if a quantity is impossible to measure, we say that the quantity is undefined. It actually makes sense if you think a bit about it.

The idea is that if the nature of an object is such that we cannot measure its position and momentum at same time, it is equivalent to saying that the position and momentum of particle are actually not defined. There is not doubt that this is an experimental problem. However this is not an experimental problem due to faulty instruments! This is an experimental problem inbuilt into the nature of the world!

but does the particle have a position and momentum, just that we can't know what it is?

As far as physicists are concerned, your statement has no meaning.

Think about it. Your position and your momentum are defined only by the way you interact with light (or other matter). If a particle does not interact with anything at all, then there is no way of defining its position or momentum.

so how does the uncertainty principle imply that particle momentum is random or uncaused? because those are the only ways it can contradict determinism Otherwise, I don't see why so many people use this as a counter argument.

I am not really sure exact implication of quantum world to philosophy. Problem is - it deals with very small scale phenomenon. It is very difficult to extrapolate quantum mechanics to day to day life.

Anyway the deterministic logic is:
P1. Suppose somehow we know everything about the world at this moment.
P2. Using law of physics, given initial conditions, we can calculate everything about the world at every time in future.
C: If we know everything about this moment, we know everything about future -> The world is deterministic.

The interesting thing is, 'quantum mechanics' violates P1!

Personally, I don't trust P2 either.

I'd think QM is more damaging to P2 considering its very equations are probabilistic. Unless you accept multiple universes, right off the bat that means it CANNOT describe the future in a deterministic manner.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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4/12/2012 4:03:39 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 3:59:42 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 4/12/2012 3:33:46 PM, baggins wrote:
At 4/12/2012 3:17:41 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 4/12/2012 3:10:14 PM, baggins wrote:
At 4/12/2012 3:01:40 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 4/12/2012 2:55:52 PM, baggins wrote:
At 4/12/2012 2:35:33 PM, 000ike wrote:
Why are people describing this using experiments where the measuring process disturbs the results? and then you end with the conclusion that the results are natural and not because of the measuring process? This isn't helping. High-energy waves changing the momentum of a particle is easy enough to understand.

But nothing on the internet, nothing in my chemistry or physics books, nothing anyone has said makes the connection to how this isn't just an experimental error.....it's getting really frustrating

It is an experimental error. However it is not an error due to faulty instrument. It is an experimental error which is guaranteed no matter how good your instruments are!

Which leads us to the interesting part which may be slightly confusing. In daily life, we assume that we have a position and a momentum and then we think of experiment to measure it. In quantum world, the measurement process is part of the reality.

If a particle is in a room without interacting with anything whatsoever, then we say that its position is not defined. Its position will be undefined until we do something to measure its position. In quantum world, if a quantity is impossible to measure, we say that the quantity is undefined. It actually makes sense if you think a bit about it.

The idea is that if the nature of an object is such that we cannot measure its position and momentum at same time, it is equivalent to saying that the position and momentum of particle are actually not defined. There is not doubt that this is an experimental problem. However this is not an experimental problem due to faulty instruments! This is an experimental problem inbuilt into the nature of the world!

but does the particle have a position and momentum, just that we can't know what it is?

As far as physicists are concerned, your statement has no meaning.

Think about it. Your position and your momentum are defined only by the way you interact with light (or other matter). If a particle does not interact with anything at all, then there is no way of defining its position or momentum.

so how does the uncertainty principle imply that particle momentum is random or uncaused? because those are the only ways it can contradict determinism Otherwise, I don't see why so many people use this as a counter argument.

I am not really sure exact implication of quantum world to philosophy. Problem is - it deals with very small scale phenomenon. It is very difficult to extrapolate quantum mechanics to day to day life.

Anyway the deterministic logic is:
P1. Suppose somehow we know everything about the world at this moment.
P2. Using law of physics, given initial conditions, we can calculate everything about the world at every time in future.
C: If we know everything about this moment, we know everything about future -> The world is deterministic.

The interesting thing is, 'quantum mechanics' violates P1!

Personally, I don't trust P2 either.

I'd think QM is more damaging to P2 considering its very equations are probabilistic. Unless you accept multiple universes, right off the bat that means it CANNOT describe the future in a deterministic manner.

Well that doesn't contradict determinism though just because one cannot know everything about the future does not mean that the future isn't determined.
Open borders debate:
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000ike
Posts: 11,196
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4/12/2012 4:10:57 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
This website says that the particles don't HAVE a specific position and momentum, not just that we can't find it.

" This interpretation, while helpful for visualization, has its limitations. It implies that the particle being observed does have a precise position and a precise momentum which we are unable to ascertain because of the clumsiness of the measurement process. However, more correctly, we should view the Uncertainty Principle as telling us that the concepts of position and momentum cannot coexist without some ambiguity. There is no precise state of momentum and position independent of the act of measurement, as naïve realist philosophers had assumed." http://www.enotes.com...

I still don't see how this contradicts determinism. If it doesn't have a position and momentum to start with, then there is nothing there to be determined...
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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4/12/2012 4:28:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/12/2012 2:12:50 PM, baggins wrote:
Heisenberg uncertainty principle is really elegant.
I agree. It's also simple and people tend to over complicate it.

No matter what we do, we cannot have perfect observation of both momentum and position at same time. This will be true no matter how good our instruments are.

What is the significance of HUP to philosophy. I don't really know. The uncertainty exists only at extremely small scale. I don't know whether this kind of uncertainty can lead to uncertainty in daily life. Overall I suspect no.
The problem is that in some interpretations of QM, it is said that the location and momentum of the particle do not exist until they are measured. And of course this defies all logic and is most certainly not true.

****************************

At 4/12/2012 2:35:33 PM, 000ike wrote:
Why are people describing this using experiments where the measuring process disturbs the results?
Because those are the ONLY experiments possible! That's the point: there is NO other way without disturbing the experiment!

But nothing on the internet, nothing in my chemistry or physics books, nothing anyone has said makes the connection to how this isn't just an experimental error.....it's getting really frustrating
What EXACTLY is frustrating you?

but does the particle have a position and momentum, just that we can't know what it is?
Of course it does; however, some interpretations of QM will say otherwise. However, they CANNOT prove it experimentally.

This website says that the particles don't HAVE a specific position and momentum, not just that we can't find it.

" This interpretation, while helpful for visualization, has its limitations. It implies that the particle being observed does have a precise position and a precise momentum which we are unable to ascertain because of the clumsiness of the measurement process. However, more correctly, we should view the Uncertainty Principle as telling us that the concepts of position and momentum cannot coexist without some ambiguity. There is no precise state of momentum and position independent of the act of measurement, as naïve realist philosophers had assumed." http://www.enotes.com......
That's a specific interpretation; not the only one.

I still don't see how this contradicts determinism. If it doesn't have a position and momentum to start with, then there is nothing there to be determined...
You are implying that it somehow does not exist. The reason it violates determinism is because according to QM one cannot know ALL the aspects (properties) of the universe because they are UNKNOWABLE.

******************

At 4/12/2012 3:08:05 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Our understanding of the physical universe is based on experimental data.
Uh not only experimental data. There is TONS of science that is produce through induction.

It wouldn't make any sense to describe the physical universe using non-experimental data.
With that attitude, we'd have no progress!
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.