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Sean Carroll on the Copenhagen interpretation

philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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3/5/2014 10:43:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I was just watching this debate will William Lane Craig and Sean Carroll.

Right around 2:13:30, Sean Carroll said this:

"The Copenhagen interpretation is basically nonsense. No thoughtful person still holds to it. And yet we teach it to all of our undergraduates. That's kind of a scandal. And uh..you know"and no one knows what the right answer is."

This was news to me. I was under the impression that the Copenhagen interpretation was the most widely accepted interpretation of quantum physics. Admittedly, I got that impression from reading popular literature, but since there didn't seem to be much controversy on it, I assumed it was true. Can anybody confirm or deny what Sean Carroll said?
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Enji
Posts: 1,022
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3/5/2014 11:25:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/5/2014 10:43:51 PM, philochristos wrote:
I was just watching this debate will William Lane Craig and Sean Carroll.



Right around 2:13:30, Sean Carroll said this:

"The Copenhagen interpretation is basically nonsense. No thoughtful person still holds to it. And yet we teach it to all of our undergraduates. That's kind of a scandal. And uh..you know"and no one knows what the right answer is."

This was news to me. I was under the impression that the Copenhagen interpretation was the most widely accepted interpretation of quantum physics. Admittedly, I got that impression from reading popular literature, but since there didn't seem to be much controversy on it, I assumed it was true. Can anybody confirm or deny what Sean Carroll said?

I think it depends on what you mean by accept. Craig said (and Carroll agreed with him) that there are various interpretations of quantum mechanics which are all empirically equivalent. We cannot (currently) distinguish between different interpretations empirically, and so acceptance of a specific interpretation is a matter of taste rather than scientific knowledge.

The Copenhagen interpretation is the most widely used interpretation of quantum mechanics (although more recent polls show that its acceptance is dropping in favour of other interpretations). There are a couple of reasons for this, notably it's the oldest more or less complete interpretation, and hence you'll find it in most (or maybe all) early textbooks, and hence you'll find it in most current textbooks, and hence it's taught in most university courses on quantum mechanics. In this sense, the widespread acceptance of the Copenhagen interpretation is mere convenience. If interpretation is a matter of philosophy, then does the acceptance of one interpretation over another really affect the relevant science?

But both Carroll and Craig are arguing with regards to the philosophy -- the philosophic assumptions and implications of the different interpretations matter to them just as much as the empirical results. In terms of philosophic acceptance, I think Carroll is probably right that no one seriously considers the Copenhagen interpretation. [http://www.askamathematician.com...]
Installgentoo
Posts: 1,420
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3/6/2014 4:01:57 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/5/2014 11:25:49 PM, Enji wrote:
At 3/5/2014 10:43:51 PM, philochristos wrote:
I was just watching this debate will William Lane Craig and Sean Carroll.



Right around 2:13:30, Sean Carroll said this:

"The Copenhagen interpretation is basically nonsense. No thoughtful person still holds to it. And yet we teach it to all of our undergraduates. That's kind of a scandal. And uh..you know"and no one knows what the right answer is."

This was news to me. I was under the impression that the Copenhagen interpretation was the most widely accepted interpretation of quantum physics. Admittedly, I got that impression from reading popular literature, but since there didn't seem to be much controversy on it, I assumed it was true. Can anybody confirm or deny what Sean Carroll said?

I think it depends on what you mean by accept. Craig said (and Carroll agreed with him) that there are various interpretations of quantum mechanics which are all empirically equivalent. We cannot (currently) distinguish between different interpretations empirically, and so acceptance of a specific interpretation is a matter of taste rather than scientific knowledge.

Wrong. There are all kinds of ways scientists use to find out which interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is the right one. That's why scientists vastly favour a few interpretations over the ten which currently exist.
chui
Posts: 507
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3/6/2014 6:23:44 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I believe the most popular view is called the "shut up and calculate" view, because no matter what interpretation you prefer the mathematics is identical.
Enji
Posts: 1,022
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3/6/2014 9:25:11 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 4:01:57 AM, Installgentoo wrote:
At 3/5/2014 11:25:49 PM, Enji wrote:
At 3/5/2014 10:43:51 PM, philochristos wrote:
I was just watching this debate will William Lane Craig and Sean Carroll.



Right around 2:13:30, Sean Carroll said this:

"The Copenhagen interpretation is basically nonsense. No thoughtful person still holds to it. And yet we teach it to all of our undergraduates. That's kind of a scandal. And uh..you know"and no one knows what the right answer is."

This was news to me. I was under the impression that the Copenhagen interpretation was the most widely accepted interpretation of quantum physics. Admittedly, I got that impression from reading popular literature, but since there didn't seem to be much controversy on it, I assumed it was true. Can anybody confirm or deny what Sean Carroll said?

I think it depends on what you mean by accept. Craig said (and Carroll agreed with him) that there are various interpretations of quantum mechanics which are all empirically equivalent. We cannot (currently) distinguish between different interpretations empirically, and so acceptance of a specific interpretation is a matter of taste rather than scientific knowledge.

Wrong. There are all kinds of ways scientists use to find out which interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is the right one. That's why scientists vastly favour a few interpretations over the ten which currently exist.

No.
Installgentoo
Posts: 1,420
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3/6/2014 9:31:10 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 9:25:11 AM, Enji wrote:
At 3/6/2014 4:01:57 AM, Installgentoo wrote:
At 3/5/2014 11:25:49 PM, Enji wrote:
At 3/5/2014 10:43:51 PM, philochristos wrote:
I was just watching this debate will William Lane Craig and Sean Carroll.



Right around 2:13:30, Sean Carroll said this:

"The Copenhagen interpretation is basically nonsense. No thoughtful person still holds to it. And yet we teach it to all of our undergraduates. That's kind of a scandal. And uh..you know"and no one knows what the right answer is."

This was news to me. I was under the impression that the Copenhagen interpretation was the most widely accepted interpretation of quantum physics. Admittedly, I got that impression from reading popular literature, but since there didn't seem to be much controversy on it, I assumed it was true. Can anybody confirm or deny what Sean Carroll said?

I think it depends on what you mean by accept. Craig said (and Carroll agreed with him) that there are various interpretations of quantum mechanics which are all empirically equivalent. We cannot (currently) distinguish between different interpretations empirically, and so acceptance of a specific interpretation is a matter of taste rather than scientific knowledge.

Wrong. There are all kinds of ways scientists use to find out which interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is the right one. That's why scientists vastly favour a few interpretations over the ten which currently exist.

No.

YES.
Enji
Posts: 1,022
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3/6/2014 9:39:53 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 9:31:10 AM, Installgentoo wrote:
At 3/6/2014 9:25:11 AM, Enji wrote:
At 3/6/2014 4:01:57 AM, Installgentoo wrote:

Wrong. There are all kinds of ways scientists use to find out which interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is the right one. That's why scientists vastly favour a few interpretations over the ten which currently exist.

No.

YES.

Quantum mechanical interpretations are philosophical ascriptions to the quantities that appear in the theory. The different interpretations make the same empirical predictions and explain the same empirical results; they are not testable.
slo1
Posts: 4,312
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3/7/2014 8:57:51 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/5/2014 10:43:51 PM, philochristos wrote:
I was just watching this debate will William Lane Craig and Sean Carroll.



Right around 2:13:30, Sean Carroll said this:

"The Copenhagen interpretation is basically nonsense. No thoughtful person still holds to it. And yet we teach it to all of our undergraduates. That's kind of a scandal. And uh..you know"and no one knows what the right answer is."

This was news to me. I was under the impression that the Copenhagen interpretation was the most widely accepted interpretation of quantum physics. Admittedly, I got that impression from reading popular literature, but since there didn't seem to be much controversy on it, I assumed it was true. Can anybody confirm or deny what Sean Carroll said?

QM has demonstrated extremely odd behavior of small things. Particles don't exist until observed. Information travels faster than speed of light, etc. All schools knowledge these behaviors exist because it has been observed via experimentation for decades. Never once has the predictions of the theory been shown to be wrong.

The Copenhagen school basically says that since the theory is so spot on with its predictions there is nothing else to be worried about. If you asked a Copenhagen how the information travels from entangled particle A to particle B so particle B instantly knows what its attribute should be, they would say it does not matter. QM predicts that once we observe the attribute of A we will automatically know what the attribute of B is. (Keep in mind the attribute of A is a probability, so it can be different things)

That is what Einstein couldn't swallow. To him there had to be other reasons why these particles behaved so dang weird. The other schools try to explain what is going on rather than just stopping at the observed behaviors. For decades it was considered very bad for one's career to go against Copenhagen and try to uncover the underlining mystery.

Basically what Carrol is saying is similar to what Einstein believed. There has to be other explanations as to what is going on here, cuz that shXt is weird.

Chui said is best, the Copenhagen school is shut up and measure. I would add don't look under the carpet.