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bossyburrito
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6/6/2014 8:36:46 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Can someone please explain to me, in relatively simple terms, why it's thought that the principle of cause-and-effect doesn't hold true at the quantum level?
#UnbanTheMadman

"Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights..."

~ Rush
chui
Posts: 511
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6/6/2014 9:35:30 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/6/2014 8:36:46 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
Can someone please explain to me, in relatively simple terms, why it's thought that the principle of cause-and-effect doesn't hold true at the quantum level?

Because of the results observed in experiments.

For example the double slit experiment.

The video (if I have linked it properly) is an ancient recording of Richard Feynman explaining this experiment. Its old, but Feynman is legendary for his ability to explain clearly and insight-fully.

https://www.youtube.com...

It has been shown to be impossible to predict where an individual particle will land on a screen, or even to decide which slit it went through on the way. Watching individual particles arrive shows that it is truly random where a particle lands.

Also the particle appears to travel like a wave( a pattern of bright and dark fringes forms) but arrives and leaves like a particle in a tiny lump of energy.

Many people have tried to remove this probabilistic character from quantum physics to return to cause and effect classical physics. The most famous being Einstein himself, who can be thought of as the Father of quantum physics, based on his 1905 paper on photo-electricity.
Subutai
Posts: 3,252
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6/6/2014 9:43:31 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/6/2014 8:36:46 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
Can someone please explain to me, in relatively simple terms, why it's thought that the principle of cause-and-effect doesn't hold true at the quantum level?

Because there is uncertainty at the quantum level. This is due to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, which limits the precision of measurements. It deals specifically with position and velocity, stating that one can be known more accurately only by knowing the other less accurately. This means that the position of a particle can never be "known", and it can occupy an infinite number of positions at once. This is known as a superposition.

The causal order of events can be thought of as in a superposition as well, and thus parts of the effect occur before parts of the cause.
I'm becoming less defined as days go by, fading away, and well you might say, I'm losing focus, kinda drifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself.
bossyburrito
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6/6/2014 12:02:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/6/2014 9:43:31 AM, Subutai wrote:
At 6/6/2014 8:36:46 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
Can someone please explain to me, in relatively simple terms, why it's thought that the principle of cause-and-effect doesn't hold true at the quantum level?

Because there is uncertainty at the quantum level. This is due to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, which limits the precision of measurements. It deals specifically with position and velocity, stating that one can be known more accurately only by knowing the other less accurately. This means that the position of a particle can never be "known", and it can occupy an infinite number of positions at once. This is known as a superposition.

The causal order of events can be thought of as in a superposition as well, and thus parts of the effect occur before parts of the cause.

How does the fact that we can't measure certain aspects simultaneously lead to cause-and-effect not being valid? Just because we're unable to fully understand everything about a given scenario doesn't mean that the elements of that scenario behave differently. Why couldn't there be hidden variables that cannot be known, but still affect the results of something in such a way that when a situation, x, causes result y, but, when one of these variables changes (and we wouldn't be able to know when it does or even what it is), situation x + the difference in the variable (therefore not making it situation x any longer) = result z?

That probably doesn't make a lot of sense how I explained it, sorry.
#UnbanTheMadman

"Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights..."

~ Rush
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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6/6/2014 12:55:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/6/2014 12:02:26 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
At 6/6/2014 9:43:31 AM, Subutai wrote:
At 6/6/2014 8:36:46 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
Can someone please explain to me, in relatively simple terms, why it's thought that the principle of cause-and-effect doesn't hold true at the quantum level?

Because there is uncertainty at the quantum level. This is due to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, which limits the precision of measurements. It deals specifically with position and velocity, stating that one can be known more accurately only by knowing the other less accurately. This means that the position of a particle can never be "known", and it can occupy an infinite number of positions at once. This is known as a superposition.

The causal order of events can be thought of as in a superposition as well, and thus parts of the effect occur before parts of the cause.

How does the fact that we can't measure certain aspects simultaneously lead to cause-and-effect not being valid? Just because we're unable to fully understand everything about a given scenario doesn't mean that the elements of that scenario behave differently. Why couldn't there be hidden variables that cannot be known, but still affect the results of something in such a way that when a situation, x, causes result y, but, when one of these variables changes (and we wouldn't be able to know when it does or even what it is), situation x + the difference in the variable (therefore not making it situation x any longer) = result z?


That probably doesn't make a lot of sense how I explained it, sorry.

Agreed. Take for instance the surface of a sea. We know the waves all have causes, other waves. But we still have difficulty pinpointing where the peak of a wave will be a few minutes later.
Subutai
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6/6/2014 3:14:27 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/6/2014 12:02:26 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
At 6/6/2014 9:43:31 AM, Subutai wrote:
At 6/6/2014 8:36:46 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
Can someone please explain to me, in relatively simple terms, why it's thought that the principle of cause-and-effect doesn't hold true at the quantum level?

Because there is uncertainty at the quantum level. This is due to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, which limits the precision of measurements. It deals specifically with position and velocity, stating that one can be known more accurately only by knowing the other less accurately. This means that the position of a particle can never be "known", and it can occupy an infinite number of positions at once. This is known as a superposition.

The causal order of events can be thought of as in a superposition as well, and thus parts of the effect occur before parts of the cause.

How does the fact that we can't measure certain aspects simultaneously lead to cause-and-effect not being valid? Just because we're unable to fully understand everything about a given scenario doesn't mean that the elements of that scenario behave differently. Why couldn't there be hidden variables that cannot be known, but still affect the results of something in such a way that when a situation, x, causes result y, but, when one of these variables changes (and we wouldn't be able to know when it does or even what it is), situation x + the difference in the variable (therefore not making it situation x any longer) = result z?


That probably doesn't make a lot of sense how I explained it, sorry.

Here's an article with an analogy that I found that might elucidate the situation:

"Imagine a person, Alice, walking into a room and finding there a piece of paper. After reading what is written on the paper Alice erases the message and leaves her own message on the piece of paper. Another person, Bob, walks into the same room at some other time and does the same: he reads, erases and re-writes some message on the paper. If Bob enters the room after Alice, he will be able to read what she wrote; however Alice will not have a chance to know Bob's message. In this case, Alice's writing is the "cause" and what Bob reads the "effect." Each time the two repeat the procedure, only one will be able to read what the other wrote. Even if they don't have watches and don't know who enters the room first, they can deduce it by what they write and read on the paper. For example, Alice might write "Alice was here today," such that if Bob reads the message, he will know that he came to the room after her."

"If -- in our example -- Alice and Bob have a quantum system instead of an ordinary piece of paper to write their messages on, they can end up in a situation where each of them can read a part of the message written by the other. Effectively, one has a superposition of two situations: "Alice enters the room first and leaves a message before Bob" and "Bob enters the room first and leaves a message before Alice."

I could talk about simultaneous causality or retro-causality, the former being similar to the above example, but a detailed explanation would probably just be confusing.

http://www.sciencedaily.com...
I'm becoming less defined as days go by, fading away, and well you might say, I'm losing focus, kinda drifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself.
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
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6/6/2014 5:47:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/6/2014 8:36:46 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
Can someone please explain to me, in relatively simple terms, why it's thought that the principle of cause-and-effect doesn't hold true at the quantum level?

At a quantum level, you can only describe things happening in terms of probability. You can't make deterministic predictions or descriptions. This as some posts have highlighted has come from many experiments, and indeed a number of principles in modern electronics are based on such probabilistic descriptions.

Such aspects are incredibly alien, and to an extent is not easy to wrap your head around, but the weird nature of quantum theory whilst impossible to fully appreciate and almost as hard to fully grasp is responsible for some of the most accurate predictions of science.

Now, saying this, how do we know that there isn't some deterministic reason that the quantum world obeys probability?

The short answer is that we don't, but there are a lot of things that convince us that this isn't the case. Many people speculate without actually thinking too much about the details of such speculation. Here is why:

Using the position of an electron, for example, which can be determined only probabilistically, for there to be a deterministic cause there needs to be some force or particle that affects the electron in the following way:

1.) Deterministicallly measures where the electron will be.
2.) Deterministically explains why subsequent measurements of the electron will show it to be somewhere else in a pattern that builds up a function of probability.
3.) Does not change in a way that causes such deterministic events to break the function of probability (IE: fluctuations do not cause the electron always to be in one place.

Moreover, as probability effects all different types of particles, which don't all have the same behaviour, interactions or mass, you have the following problems:

4.) Has to effect all known subatomic particles, and space in such a way to encompass all varied and wildly differing probabilistic effects.

5.) Fields, forces and particles are all things that are generally all implicitly tied up with probability themselves; so the things that we can speculate about to solve the problem would probably not solve the problem!

So to propose a deterministic mechanism, you have to invent something even weirder and more wacky than quantum theory randomness in order to solve the problem: As the type of thing covered in the above 4 points is something we have never really seen in any scientific force, particle or field.

Even worse, given that you have speculated about such a mechanism, there are some other hurdles to cross:

1.) There is no mathematics (that I am aware of) that implies or inferrs such a mechanism. Many discoveries have been made by inferring the existance of something else.

2.) There is no direct or indirect (to my knowledge) evidence of any such particle, field or force being in existance: For example changes in rates of radioactive decay that are mediated only by probability; errors in calculates in certain conditions.

3.) There is no mathematically self consistent definitions of such a force, field or particle that is derived by, compatbile with, or fits into any existing validated theory (for example the Higgs Boson was invented, by fit in nicely with the standard model) in a way that can be tested.

4.) We're not even certain that there is a problem that needs to be solved by speculating about such a field, force or particle: The only reason to invoked it is because we feel that it doesn't operate according to our common sense. There is really a crap load of stuff in the quantum world that doesn't make sense over and above it's stochastic nature that would probably require some element of explanation too (such as quantum tunneling, or quantization in general for example!)

As a result, it's always possible that there is an as yet undiscovered brand of physics that is yet to be discovered that may shed some light on this subject, but I think until such an experiment has been performed that shows what that is, blind speculation that there must be deterministic reasons for everything, like waves being affected by other waves or wind, is just that: blind speculation devoid of any scientific merit.
tahir.imanov
Posts: 272
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6/9/2014 10:00:46 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/6/2014 12:55:25 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Agreed. Take for instance the surface of a sea. We know the waves all have causes, other waves. But we still have difficulty pinpointing where the peak of a wave will be a few minutes later.

It is inaccurate example, reason why we can't pinpoint the peak of wave is there are too many variables, if you knew all of them it would be easier. But on quantum level it is different story.
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Mhykiel
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6/9/2014 10:10:06 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/9/2014 10:00:46 AM, tahir.imanov wrote:
At 6/6/2014 12:55:25 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Agreed. Take for instance the surface of a sea. We know the waves all have causes, other waves. But we still have difficulty pinpointing where the peak of a wave will be a few minutes later.

It is inaccurate example, reason why we can't pinpoint the peak of wave is there are too many variables, if you knew all of them it would be easier. But on quantum level it is different story.

Your making an appeal to ignorance. n the quantum level what variables cause a virtual particle to emerge from the vacuum?

Clearly their are variables because an increase in virtual particles and negative energy can be increased in a confined area by the casimere effect.

If such things can be increased then their are parameters that govern the emergence of virtual particles. The analogy holds because we can not calculate all the local variables and parameters.

The recorded data points would appear the same as collided waves of a sea or the multiple intersections of probabilities. The patterns would appear the same.
chui
Posts: 511
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6/9/2014 10:40:58 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/6/2014 12:55:25 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 6/6/2014 12:02:26 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
At 6/6/2014 9:43:31 AM, Subutai wrote:
At 6/6/2014 8:36:46 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
Can someone please explain to me, in relatively simple terms, why it's thought that the principle of cause-and-effect doesn't hold true at the quantum level?

Because there is uncertainty at the quantum level. This is due to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, which limits the precision of measurements. It deals specifically with position and velocity, stating that one can be known more accurately only by knowing the other less accurately. This means that the position of a particle can never be "known", and it can occupy an infinite number of positions at once. This is known as a superposition.

The causal order of events can be thought of as in a superposition as well, and thus parts of the effect occur before parts of the cause.

How does the fact that we can't measure certain aspects simultaneously lead to cause-and-effect not being valid? Just because we're unable to fully understand everything about a given scenario doesn't mean that the elements of that scenario behave differently. Why couldn't there be hidden variables that cannot be known, but still affect the results of something in such a way that when a situation, x, causes result y, but, when one of these variables changes (and we wouldn't be able to know when it does or even what it is), situation x + the difference in the variable (therefore not making it situation x any longer) = result z?


That probably doesn't make a lot of sense how I explained it, sorry.

Agreed. Take for instance the surface of a sea. We know the waves all have causes, other waves. But we still have difficulty pinpointing where the peak of a wave will be a few minutes later.

I agree that a wave would be difficult to predict, but with enough measurements it could be done in principle. A quantum system is impossible to predict for an individual particle outcome, because the necessary measurements cannot be made. Not because of practical difficulties or technologically inadequate equipment but because it is forbidden by the nature of the universe we live in.

The proof of this was first done by Alain Aspect in 1981 based on the work of John Bell, when he responded to the infamous EPR paradox paper to create his famous inequality. The significance of Aspect's and Bell's work is that it shows that is not possible for there to be a hidden variable explanation of quantum physics.

It is also significant that Aspect and Bell showed that Einstein and many other respected scientists were wrong in this particular case.
Mhykiel
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6/9/2014 10:42:26 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/9/2014 10:40:58 AM, chui wrote:
At 6/6/2014 12:55:25 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 6/6/2014 12:02:26 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
At 6/6/2014 9:43:31 AM, Subutai wrote:
At 6/6/2014 8:36:46 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
Can someone please explain to me, in relatively simple terms, why it's thought that the principle of cause-and-effect doesn't hold true at the quantum level?

Because there is uncertainty at the quantum level. This is due to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, which limits the precision of measurements. It deals specifically with position and velocity, stating that one can be known more accurately only by knowing the other less accurately. This means that the position of a particle can never be "known", and it can occupy an infinite number of positions at once. This is known as a superposition.

The causal order of events can be thought of as in a superposition as well, and thus parts of the effect occur before parts of the cause.

How does the fact that we can't measure certain aspects simultaneously lead to cause-and-effect not being valid? Just because we're unable to fully understand everything about a given scenario doesn't mean that the elements of that scenario behave differently. Why couldn't there be hidden variables that cannot be known, but still affect the results of something in such a way that when a situation, x, causes result y, but, when one of these variables changes (and we wouldn't be able to know when it does or even what it is), situation x + the difference in the variable (therefore not making it situation x any longer) = result z?


That probably doesn't make a lot of sense how I explained it, sorry.

Agreed. Take for instance the surface of a sea. We know the waves all have causes, other waves. But we still have difficulty pinpointing where the peak of a wave will be a few minutes later.

I agree that a wave would be difficult to predict, but with enough measurements it could be done in principle. A quantum system is impossible to predict for an individual particle outcome, because the necessary measurements cannot be made. Not because of practical difficulties or technologically inadequate equipment but because it is forbidden by the nature of the universe we live in.

The proof of this was first done by Alain Aspect in 1981 based on the work of John Bell, when he responded to the infamous EPR paradox paper to create his famous inequality. The significance of Aspect's and Bell's work is that it shows that is not possible for there to be a hidden variable explanation of quantum physics.

It is also significant that Aspect and Bell showed that Einstein and many other respected scientists were wrong in this particular case.

I agree the prediction is impossible but I was making a case that an underlining cause is present for the emergence of particles from vacuum energy.
chui
Posts: 511
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6/9/2014 11:05:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/6/2014 12:02:26 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
At 6/6/2014 9:43:31 AM, Subutai wrote:
At 6/6/2014 8:36:46 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
Can someone please explain to me, in relatively simple terms, why it's thought that the principle of cause-and-effect doesn't hold true at the quantum level?

Because there is uncertainty at the quantum level. This is due to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, which limits the precision of measurements. It deals specifically with position and velocity, stating that one can be known more accurately only by knowing the other less accurately. This means that the position of a particle can never be "known", and it can occupy an infinite number of positions at once. This is known as a superposition.

The causal order of events can be thought of as in a superposition as well, and thus parts of the effect occur before parts of the cause.

How does the fact that we can't measure certain aspects simultaneously lead to cause-and-effect not being valid?

When we say that 'we can't measure...' you need to understand that this is not because we lack the equipment to make the measurement or that the measurement is difficult it is because there is nothing to be measured. Making a measurement really does change the system. Everett goes so far as suggesting that every measurement creates a new universe. This may seem ridiculous but the alternative is to accept that the universe contains dead and alive cats.

Just because we're unable to fully understand....

There is a big difference between not understanding a scenario and not being able to make simultaneous measurements.

....everything about a given scenario doesn't mean that the elements of that scenario behave differently. Why couldn't there be hidden variables that cannot be known, but still affect the results of something in such a way that when a situation, x, causes result y, but, when one of these variables changes (and we wouldn't be able to know when it does or even what it is), situation x + the difference in the variable (therefore not making it situation x any longer) = result z?

Hidden variable explanations of quantum physics have been tried. Possibly the best known is by Bohm, who developed De Broglie's pilot wave postulate further. In essence he argued that there was an underlying wave structure guiding quantum particles. It would be very nice if Bohm's idea had worked. All physicists struggle with the idea of quantum uncertainty. We did not just invent it because we wanted to be different or awkward. We believe it is a true description of reality as revealed by experiment.

Einstein, Poldolsky and Rosen co-authored a paper trying to show that quantum physics is paradoxical and therefore cannot be true and that there must be a hidden variable explanation. This is known as the EPR paradox and it has been shown by experiment that EPR is wrong. John Bell in 1964 mathematically analysed EPR and created an inequality that would hold true if EPR was right. That is to say he found a way of testing EPR experimentally. Nearly 20 years later it was technically possible to perform the test. Alain Aspect was the first to realise this and conducted the experiment. Bell's inequality was shown to be broken (as Bell predicted) and so EPR is wrong and hidden variable explanations are not possible.

That probably doesn't make a lot of sense how I explained it, sorry.
tahir.imanov
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6/9/2014 11:09:52 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/9/2014 10:10:06 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 6/9/2014 10:00:46 AM, tahir.imanov wrote:
At 6/6/2014 12:55:25 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Agreed. Take for instance the surface of a sea. We know the waves all have causes, other waves. But we still have difficulty pinpointing where the peak of a wave will be a few minutes later.
It is inaccurate example, reason why we can't pinpoint the peak of wave is there are too many variables, if you knew all of them it would be easier. But on quantum level it is different story.
Your making an appeal to ignorance. n the quantum level what variables cause a virtual particle to emerge from the vacuum?
Clearly their are variables because an increase in virtual particles and negative energy can be increased in a confined area by the casimere effect.
If such things can be increased then their are parameters that govern the emergence of virtual particles. The analogy holds because we can not calculate all the local variables and parameters.
The recorded data points would appear the same as collided waves of a sea or the multiple intersections of probabilities. The patterns would appear the same.

Dude, I didn't talk about variables causing something in quantum level.
My point was your example is silly. Because the peak of wave is predictable, and you are comparing two incomparable "things".
This is red.
Mhykiel
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6/9/2014 11:15:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/9/2014 11:09:52 AM, tahir.imanov wrote:
At 6/9/2014 10:10:06 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 6/9/2014 10:00:46 AM, tahir.imanov wrote:
At 6/6/2014 12:55:25 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Agreed. Take for instance the surface of a sea. We know the waves all have causes, other waves. But we still have difficulty pinpointing where the peak of a wave will be a few minutes later.
It is inaccurate example, reason why we can't pinpoint the peak of wave is there are too many variables, if you knew all of them it would be easier. But on quantum level it is different story.
Your making an appeal to ignorance. n the quantum level what variables cause a virtual particle to emerge from the vacuum?
Clearly their are variables because an increase in virtual particles and negative energy can be increased in a confined area by the casimere effect.
If such things can be increased then their are parameters that govern the emergence of virtual particles. The analogy holds because we can not calculate all the local variables and parameters.
The recorded data points would appear the same as collided waves of a sea or the multiple intersections of probabilities. The patterns would appear the same.

Dude, I didn't talk about variables causing something in quantum level.
My point was your example is silly. Because the peak of wave is predictable, and you are comparing two incomparable "things".

It is an analogy. A descriptive image. Would you prefer I use the analogy of us trying to predict which bubble on the top of beer foam will pop next?

Cause that one is equally as justifiable to use in the description of vacuum energy. The mechanics are different but the relationship is the same. That's what makes it an analogy.
R0b1Billion
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6/9/2014 12:06:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Individual particles do not have well-defined positions and velocities. Only their macroscopic conglomerates do. I think the main problem most people have, when looking into these sorts of things, is that they think of particles as little pebbles which are simply smaller than normal matter. But they aren't, they are completely different. Here is an incredibly simple video on the double-slit experiment that I just saw on Wimp last night: http://www.wimp.com... (better than that old 1 hour video I saw at the beginning of the thread, LOL!)

You should also study the concept of Sum Over Histories. A particle's existence is sort of a probabilistic distribution of what it could have done, and if nobody bothers to look at a certain particle, then it doesn't really need to have ever had a real position and velocity. It's the ultimate version of "if a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound..." The physical answer is an emphatic "NO." As Morgan Freeman points out in the video I posted, the double-slit experiment will cease to show interference patterns when we actually observe which slit they are passing through, and there are other experiments which prove in different ways that this is a fundamental aspect of nature. Some say we are in the process of a "Kantian Revolution" because all these physical experiments are lending to the idea that reality is not independently viable, and exists only in reference to an observer's experience. Matter is hollow and substance-less, time is relative and meaningless, distance is an illusion (I am just as close to the most distant quasar in the universe as I am from my keyboard right now), and consciousness is the only thing that can be nailed down with philosophical certainty. Even if there really was a God, this entity could not physically know the velocity and position of any particle in the universe.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
Mhykiel
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6/9/2014 12:25:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/9/2014 12:06:38 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
Individual particles do not have well-defined positions and velocities. Only their macroscopic conglomerates do. I think the main problem most people have, when looking into these sorts of things, is that they think of particles as little pebbles which are simply smaller than normal matter. But they aren't, they are completely different. Here is an incredibly simple video on the double-slit experiment that I just saw on Wimp last night: http://www.wimp.com... (better than that old 1 hour video I saw at the beginning of the thread, LOL!)

You should also study the concept of Sum Over Histories. A particle's existence is sort of a probabilistic distribution of what it could have done, and if nobody bothers to look at a certain particle, then it doesn't really need to have ever had a real position and velocity. It's the ultimate version of "if a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound..." The physical answer is an emphatic "NO." As Morgan Freeman points out in the video I posted, the double-slit experiment will cease to show interference patterns when we actually observe which slit they are passing through, and there are other experiments which prove in different ways that this is a fundamental aspect of nature. Some say we are in the process of a "Kantian Revolution" because all these physical experiments are lending to the idea that reality is not independently viable, and exists only in reference to an observer's experience. Matter is hollow and substance-less, time is relative and meaningless, distance is an illusion (I am just as close to the most distant quasar in the universe as I am from my keyboard right now), and consciousness is the only thing that can be nailed down with philosophical certainty. Even if there really was a God, this entity could not physically know the velocity and position of any particle in the universe.

Even if there really was a God, this entity could not physically know the velocity and position of any particle in the universe.

Then how do you reconcile this with http://www.newscientist.com...

In another mode, the experimenter is a "super-observer" who exists outside of the photons' universe. From that vantage point, the state of both photons taken together is always the same, giving the appearance of a static universe
R0b1Billion
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6/9/2014 8:33:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/9/2014 12:25:40 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 6/9/2014 12:06:38 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
Individual particles do not have well-defined positions and velocities. Only their macroscopic conglomerates do. I think the main problem most people have, when looking into these sorts of things, is that they think of particles as little pebbles which are simply smaller than normal matter. But they aren't, they are completely different. Here is an incredibly simple video on the double-slit experiment that I just saw on Wimp last night: http://www.wimp.com... (better than that old 1 hour video I saw at the beginning of the thread, LOL!)

You should also study the concept of Sum Over Histories. A particle's existence is sort of a probabilistic distribution of what it could have done, and if nobody bothers to look at a certain particle, then it doesn't really need to have ever had a real position and velocity. It's the ultimate version of "if a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound..." The physical answer is an emphatic "NO." As Morgan Freeman points out in the video I posted, the double-slit experiment will cease to show interference patterns when we actually observe which slit they are passing through, and there are other experiments which prove in different ways that this is a fundamental aspect of nature. Some say we are in the process of a "Kantian Revolution" because all these physical experiments are lending to the idea that reality is not independently viable, and exists only in reference to an observer's experience. Matter is hollow and substance-less, time is relative and meaningless, distance is an illusion (I am just as close to the most distant quasar in the universe as I am from my keyboard right now), and consciousness is the only thing that can be nailed down with philosophical certainty. Even if there really was a God, this entity could not physically know the velocity and position of any particle in the universe.

Even if there really was a God, this entity could not physically know the velocity and position of any particle in the universe.

Then how do you reconcile this with http://www.newscientist.com...

In another mode, the experimenter is a "super-observer" who exists outside of the photons' universe. From that vantage point, the state of both photons taken together is always the same, giving the appearance of a static universe

Static universe doesn't mean particles have a well-defined position and velocity...
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slo1
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6/10/2014 3:43:37 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/6/2014 8:36:46 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
Can someone please explain to me, in relatively simple terms, why it's thought that the principle of cause-and-effect doesn't hold true at the quantum level?

In the simplest terms there are a few principles, many which have been highlighted, but I'll repeat. Experiments show:

1. When we are not observing/measuring small things (atoms and molecules) are in a state of all possibilities also known as a superposition state. IE: a particle is in two locations at once or an electron is in two spin states at the same time.

2. We can't measure a superposition state because when ever we try it causes the particle to become one state or the other, never both. Humanity has gone through genius experiments trying to measure a particle in a superposition only to validate what we have already done.

3. In addition when we do observe/measure the particle since it is in all possible states before we measure there is a probability distribution of being in any one particular state when it "collapses" from the superposition and becomes one state.

4. Despite attempts to find hidden variables which may explain why we see such weird behavior that window is collapsing. The last loophole I have heard of involves hidden variables in up to 11 dimensions. Bell's inequalities have been updated to 11 dimensions, but will be a few years before can test the new inequalities.

In a nut shell quantum mechanics can be interpreted as a non deterministic reality. That is what Einstein was referring to. He had the watch maker deterministic view point. It is tough to maintain that view point when a small thing is in all possible states when not being observed/measured and when it is it collapsed to one state it can't not be 100% accurately predicted.

The statement is one of determinism versus non determinism not cause and effect, although quantum experiments show results where the collapse of a superposition seems to cause the history of a particle to also be in its state it collapsed into rather than a superposition state.
v3nesl
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6/10/2014 8:57:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/10/2014 3:43:37 AM, slo1 wrote:
...

The statement is one of determinism versus non determinism not cause and effect,

That's probably a good way to say it.

If there wasn't cause and effect, there wouldn't even be a slit experiment, to cite the original example. Clearly something is predicable and regular or else there wouldn't be slits every time.
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Samreay
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6/10/2014 9:04:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Physics student here. Want to clear up a few tiny issues I have with that post.

1. When we are not observing/measuring small things (atoms and molecules) are in a state of all possibilities also known as a superposition state. IE: a particle is in two locations at once or an electron is in two spin states at the same time.

Just to make it clear, the superposition is not because no conscious person is observing the system, interactions in QM can collapse a wave function without any consciousness.

2. We can't measure a superposition state because when ever we try it causes the particle to become one state or the other, never both. Humanity has gone through genius experiments trying to measure a particle in a superposition only to validate what we have already done.

True to an extent. We can perform weak experiments which constrain the superposition but do not fully collapse it, so we can know something is in a superposition but can't say (without collapsing it) anything relatively certain about the system.

3. In addition when we do observe/measure the particle since it is in all possible states before we measure there is a probability distribution of being in any one particular state when it "collapses" from the superposition and becomes one state.

Yup.

4. Despite attempts to find hidden variables which may explain why we see such weird behavior that window is collapsing. The last loophole I have heard of involves hidden variables in up to 11 dimensions. Bell's inequalities have been updated to 11 dimensions, but will be a few years before can test the new inequalities.

Actually, Bells inequalities rule out local hidden variable theories, but not non-local hidden variable theories, so that is an area of some investigation.

As to the eleven dimensions, sounds like you are referencing Dada et al. (http://arxiv.org...) It's important to note that not every time we say dimensions in physics we are talking about spatial dimensions. Sometimes we just mean free variables.

In a nut shell quantum mechanics can be interpreted as a non deterministic reality.

A subtlety - QM is as a whole is deterministic. After all the Schoredinger equation is a solvable 2nd order PDE that has an exact solution. It's the measurements themselves that are probabalistic, as far as we know.

That is what Einstein was referring to. He had the watch maker deterministic view point. It is tough to maintain that view point when a small thing is in all possible states when not being observed/measured and when it is it collapsed to one state it can't not be 100% accurately predicted.

Yeah Einstein didn't like that. Hence the EPR paradox (http://en.wikipedia.org...)
slo1
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6/11/2014 12:38:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/10/2014 9:04:12 AM, Samreay wrote:
Physics student here. Want to clear up a few tiny issues I have with that post.


1. When we are not observing/measuring small things (atoms and molecules) are in a state of all possibilities also known as a superposition state. IE: a particle is in two locations at once or an electron is in two spin states at the same time.

Just to make it clear, the superposition is not because no conscious person is observing the system, interactions in QM can collapse a wave function without any consciousness.

While I am not a strong proponent of consciousness causing the collapse, you can not empirically prove it is not involved.

Even if you have a machine which causes the measurment, you had a conscious decision to use a machine thus an entanglement with the machine.

I can tell the university has taught you well.

2. We can't measure a superposition state because when ever we try it causes the particle to become one state or the other, never both. Humanity has gone through genius experiments trying to measure a particle in a superposition only to validate what we have already done.

True to an extent. We can perform weak experiments which constrain the superposition but do not fully collapse it, so we can know something is in a superposition but can't say (without collapsing it) anything relatively certain about the system.

Weak measurements generally are a series of measurements again many iterations of an expiriment, thus the observation is not against one particle, but many particles. Right?

3. In addition when we do observe/measure the particle since it is in all possible states before we measure there is a probability distribution of being in any one particular state when it "collapses" from the superposition and becomes one state.

Yup.

4. Despite attempts to find hidden variables which may explain why we see such weird behavior that window is collapsing. The last loophole I have heard of involves hidden variables in up to 11 dimensions. Bell's inequalities have been updated to 11 dimensions, but will be a few years before can test the new inequalities.

Actually, Bells inequalities rule out local hidden variable theories, but not non-local hidden variable theories, so that is an area of some investigation.

As to the eleven dimensions, sounds like you are referencing Dada et al. (http://arxiv.org...) It's important to note that not every time we say dimensions in physics we are talking about spatial dimensions. Sometimes we just mean free variables.


In a nut shell quantum mechanics can be interpreted as a non deterministic reality.

A subtlety - QM is as a whole is deterministic. After all the Schoredinger equation is a solvable 2nd order PDE that has an exact solution. It's the measurements themselves that are probabalistic, as far as we know.

That is what Einstein was referring to. He had the watch maker deterministic view point. It is tough to maintain that view point when a small thing is in all possible states when not being observed/measured and when it is it collapsed to one state it can't not be 100% accurately predicted.

Yeah Einstein didn't like that. Hence the EPR paradox (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

Thanks for the clarifications, especially Bell's inequalities.
Samreay
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6/11/2014 3:58:10 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Even if you have a machine which causes the measurment, you had a conscious decision to use a machine thus an entanglement with the machine.

You're right, its an unfalsifiable hypothesis that has no theoretical basis. And like all unfalsifiable hypothesis, it cannot be shown to be empirically incorrect.

If you want some more reading on it: http://journalofcosmology.com...

Weak measurements generally are a series of measurements again many iterations of an expiriment, thus the observation is not against one particle, but many particles. Right?

You could do weak measurements on the same system, even on the same particle. It's just damn difficult. At least, that is my understanding. But Im not an experimental QM specialist.

Thanks for the clarifications, especially Bell's inequalities.

No worries mate.