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Author Topic:   Have quantum interpretations been experimentally verified?
AlexCaledin
Member
Posts: 62
From: Samara, Russia
Joined: 10-22-2016


Message 3 of 62 (793207)
10-24-2016 8:42 AM


To me, the two main quantum interpretations are the classical Copenhagen and the Everettian Many worlds. And the problem is not how to verify one of them but how to see them reconciled.

Dr. Henry Stapp's writings are extremely interesting. He seems to prove, analyzing the brain research, that the quantum choice is coming "from nowhere", from some transcendent "world of mind". So, according to his worldview, the Physical Reality is no more than "structure of tendencies/probabilities within the world of mind".

That Structure is what the quantum theory, when applied to the whole universe, calculate — the abstract "Tree" of branching Everettian universes. But they are potential, not actual. The "world of mind" is busy making actual choice each moment.

Thinking of that, I can't help remembering the Tree of Game in the mathematical Game Theory - where every game is seen as the process of the branch choice; and also these Richard Feynman's words:

"physics, or rather nature, is considered analogous to a great chess game... The great gods who play this chess play it very rapidly..."

So, the physical reality is the Great Game played by some spiritual entities!
The human consciousness is among those Players; it's attached to the brain, performing the quantum choice of the actual thought for this moment.
This seems explaining everything. The classic wavefunction becomes a Tree's branch, the Collapse — a move of the Game, the Born Rule — a rule of the game that maintains seemingly independent macroscopic reality.

So the Creation must now be seen as the First Move of the Game, the Choice of good Nature, chosen, and made real, by God. Before it was chosen, Nature was a potential outcome of an abstract evolution. God's Creative Act(s) made the Nature, with the evidence of Evolution, real — leaving its Evolution unreal!

Edited by AlexCaledin, : No reason given.

Edited by AlexCaledin, : No reason given.


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AlexCaledin
Member
Posts: 62
From: Samara, Russia
Joined: 10-22-2016


Message 9 of 62 (793284)
10-25-2016 5:00 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Dr Adequate
10-24-2016 11:41 AM


"But would we not then have to believe that God's choice was to show us a lie?"

Well, that's the most usual thing I have to hear!

But believers ought to be "Bible-minded" — and Bible definitely says that material, "carnal" things are deceptive and every believer must develop awareness of the spiritual things.


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AlexCaledin
Member
Posts: 62
From: Samara, Russia
Joined: 10-22-2016


Message 10 of 62 (793287)
10-25-2016 6:52 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by PaulK
10-24-2016 12:08 PM


«If "many-worlds" is true every possible outcome happens so there is nothing that could be called a "choice"»

— yes I can imagine this for a moment; but soon after that I can't help making actual choices in my life. So, my actual life is somehow outside that abstract Everettian mechanics — and so is the actual life of my neighbors etc. You may of course call it "inside" instead of "outside" — but I believe that God is on my side and we are, spiritually, cannot be inside any mechanics, otherwise it would imply some "many-God" interpretation.

Werner Heisenberg insisted that what QM calculates is the Potentiality — that's where every possible outcome potentially — but not actually — "happens".


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AlexCaledin
Member
Posts: 62
From: Samara, Russia
Joined: 10-22-2016


Message 18 of 62 (794269)
11-13-2016 1:25 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by RAZD
10-25-2016 7:35 AM


Hi RAZD
Thank You Very Much for the tips!

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AlexCaledin
Member
Posts: 62
From: Samara, Russia
Joined: 10-22-2016


Message 19 of 62 (794271)
11-13-2016 1:42 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by PaulK
10-25-2016 7:51 AM


PaulK writes:

I don't assume that quantum uncertainty is at all relevant to human choices. You seem to be confusing two different things.


- maybe this Prof. Stapp's quote helps here (and many of his other papers are worth reading, too):
quote:
By adopting a quantum-theoretical approach we open the way, of course, to a quantum treatment of various chemical processes that are important to the functioning of the brain. But that is NOT the point here. Those atomic processes can surely be treated to sufficient accuracy by a quasi-classical model that merely adjusts atomic-scale properties that have little to do directly with our consciousness. The point of going to the pragmatic/quantum framework is to accommodate the huge macroscopic quantum effects that are directly forced upon us by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, and that make the reduction of the wave packet of decisive importance in the determination the large-scale behaviour of the body/brain. These reductions of the wave packet are, within the pragmatic/quantum framework, projections of our knowings onto our mathematical representation of physical reality .

It is sufficient to consider a model of the brain that is mainly classical. To a good first approximation the introduction of quantum theory merely involves introducing on top of the normal classical statistical ensemble arising from our incomplete knowledge a further statistical ensembles of classical motions arising from the irreducible quantum uncertainties.

At first sight this just seems to overlay the classical statistical ensemble of brain states by another layer of statistical uncertainty that adds nothing perceptible to the uncertainties already present.

But there is a basic difference. In any single empirical instance only one member of the classical component of the statistical ensemble is actually present, but all of the members of the quantum superposition that are forced to be present by the uncertainty principle are necessarily all present simultaneously, until a reduction occurs. This presence in principle of the various superposed possibilities is the essence of quantum theory: it is entailed by the fact that the different superposed members of the quantum ensemble can interact with each other.

The presence of these superposed possibilities means that in any given empirical instance, no matter which classical element of the ensemble is actually present, the quantum ensemble spreads over all of the various possible attractors. Consequently, this quantum reduction exercises an overriding control over the choice of attractor: this choice could be the same for each of the alternative possible members of the classical ensembles, and hence independent of which of the alternative classical states (generated, for example, by the thermodynamical mixture of possibilities) is present. For the quantum principles are absolutely mute on this sort of unphysical question: What would the choice have been if the occurring situation had been other than what it actually is?

Thus the quantum choice could in principle be independent of which member of the classical statistical ensemble is present. But in that case the quantum choice would wipe out the classical uncertainties introduced by the thermal noise.

This point is raised merely to emphasize that the quantum choice is the decisive control element in cases---such as the human brain---where the irreducible quantum uncertainties are so great that essentially all of the alternative macroscopic possibilities are included within the range spanned by the quantum uncertainties.


http://www-physics.lbl.gov/~stapp/40305.tex
http://www-physics.lbl.gov/~stapp/40305.ps

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AlexCaledin
Member
Posts: 62
From: Samara, Russia
Joined: 10-22-2016


Message 22 of 62 (794293)
11-14-2016 8:05 AM


(from a UNESCO forum)
Probably this piece of an old discussion with Dr. Stapp is well worth remembering:
quote:
Varela: How does your picture account for the many levels of structure in brain processing that lie between the quantum events at the atomic level and consciousness?

Stapp: In the first place the quantum events are not at the atomic level. According to Heisenberg's idea, the quantum events, that is the actual events, occur only when the interaction between the quantum system and the measuring device, "and hence the rest of the world", comes into play. The actual events that I am talking about occur at a MACROSCOPIC level: the whole Geiger counter "fires", or the whole pointer on the measuring device is actualized as swinging to the left, rather than to the right. The quantum events select from among the alternative possible COHESIVE MACROSCOPIC PATTERNS OF ACTIVITY. As for the many levels of processing in the brain, these are considered to be mechanical brain processes: they are consequences of the quantum-mechanical laws of motion, which determine the evolution of the "propensities" for the various alternative possible quantum events. In most other theories of the mind-brain connection there is no basis for a fundamental ontological difference between brain processes that are consciously experienced and those that are not. This is because their basic ontological structure is monistic, rather than dualistic, as it is in quantum theory. Quantum theory thus allows for a FUNDAMENTAL physical difference between brain processes that are experienced and those that are not.

Varda: What empirical evidence is there that quantum theory is important in brain processes that are directly connected to consciousness?

Stapp: Chemical processes are essential to brain operation, and hence, a quanturn description is mandated. In fact, quantum mechanics is essential to any understanding of the properties of materials, be they inorganic, organic, or biological. Classical ideas do not suffice to explain properties of materials, and properties of various materials play an essential role in the functioning of the brain.

Varela: The microscopic atomic properties lead to macroscopic properties, such as electric pulses along neurons, that can be described classically. What empirical evidence is there that a classical description is inadequate for describing those brain processes that are directly connected to conscious process?

Stapp: The processes that can be described classically can also be described quantum mechanically, and the latter description is FUNDAMENTALLY better because it fits onto the lower-level chemical processes in a rationally coherent way. Thus one CAN use a quantum description, and at least in principle, SHOULD use a quantum description, because it is universal, or at least CAN be universal: classical physics is known to be inadequate in some respects: it is known to be nonuniversal.
The quantmn description is not only required to explain the underlying atomic and chemical processes, it is fundamentally richer also in the treatment of macroscopic properties, as the theory of consciousness described here shows.
As Quine has emphasized, theories are underdetermined by data. In order to have any hope of achieving a reasonably unique understanding of nature we must insist upon the unity of science, and strive for a coherent understanding that covers the entire range of scientific knowledge. It is only if science can give us a UNIFIED comprehension of nature that we can turn to it with any confidence for an understanding of our place in nature.


Caffeine writes:

where our experimental setup is not dealing with individual photons or quarks, but where our macroscopic effect is different under quantum and classical interpretations?


- it's a computer for example! There are very macroscopic silicon crystals in every computer; and it's absolutely impossible to understand the macroscopic electric behavior of silicon without quantum theory — because there is the gap of forbidden electron energies in a semiconductor and that gap comes straight from the fact that in a single atom there are gaps between permitted energies.

  
AlexCaledin
Member
Posts: 62
From: Samara, Russia
Joined: 10-22-2016


Message 23 of 62 (794294)
11-14-2016 8:14 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by PaulK
11-13-2016 2:09 PM


RAZD writes:

I explicitly identified the "choice" as the collapse of the quantum wave function

— then the wavefunction of the whole universe must be considered, because the brain is entangled with the entire universe. All the universal wavefunction collapses because of every local experienced event.

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AlexCaledin
Member
Posts: 62
From: Samara, Russia
Joined: 10-22-2016


Message 25 of 62 (794298)
11-14-2016 8:45 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by PaulK
11-14-2016 8:39 AM


yes we can — because atoms and particles in classic experiments can fly, for some time, ISOLATED from everything else.

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AlexCaledin
Member
Posts: 62
From: Samara, Russia
Joined: 10-22-2016


Message 27 of 62 (794307)
11-14-2016 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by PaulK
11-14-2016 8:59 AM


A Werner Heisenberg's quote
Do you think this is correct?
quote:
The probability function does - unlike the common procedure in Newtonian mechanics - not describe a certain event but, at least during the process of observation, a whole ensemble of possible events.

The observation itself changes the probability function discontinuously; it selects of all possible events the actual one that has taken place. Since through the observation our knowledge of the system has changed discontinuously, its mathematical representation also has undergone the discontinuous change and we speak of a 'quantum jump'. When the old adage 'Natura non facit saltus' is used as a basis for criticism of quantum theory, we can reply that certainly our knowledge can change suddenly and that this fact justifies the use of the term 'quantum jump'.

Therefore, the transition from the 'possible' to the 'actual' takes place during the act of observation. If we want to describe what happens in an atomic event, we have to realize that the word 'happens' can apply only to the observation, not to the state of affairs between two observations. It applies to the physical, not the psychical act of observation, and we may say that the transition from the 'possible' to the 'actual' takes place as soon as the interaction of the object with the measuring device, and thereby with the rest of the world, has come into play; it is not connected with the act of registration of the result by the mind of the observer. The discontinuous change in the probability function, however, takes place with the act of registration, because it is the discontinuous change of our knowledge in the instant of registration that has its image in the discontinuous change of the probability function.



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AlexCaledin
Member
Posts: 62
From: Samara, Russia
Joined: 10-22-2016


Message 29 of 62 (794435)
11-15-2016 5:53 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by PaulK
11-14-2016 12:59 PM


Re: A Werner Heisenberg's quote
PaulK writes:

The shift from an ensemble of possible states to one actual state occurs in the interaction with the measuring device.

Will you explain how does the process of that shift/choice work? Do you believe it's governed by QM or by some additional metaphysics?

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AlexCaledin
Member
Posts: 62
From: Samara, Russia
Joined: 10-22-2016


Message 31 of 62 (794606)
11-17-2016 9:26 PM


quantum choice of the thought
quantum choice of the thought is not exactly a brain's wavefunction collapse but rather reduction of a mixed quantum brain state:
quote:
... each increment in knowledge is associated with a reduction of the quantum state to one that is compatible with the new knowledge. The quantum brain is an ensemble of quasi-classical components. As just noted, this structure is similar to something that occurs in classical statistical mechanics, namely a ‘‘classical statistical ensemble.’’ But a classical statistical ensemble, though structurally similar to a quantum brain, is fundamentally a different kind of thing. It is a representation of a set of truly distinct possibilities, only one of which is real. A classical statistical ensemble is used when a person does not know which of the conceivable possibilities is real, but can assign a ‘‘probability’’ to each possibility. In contrast, ALL of the elements of the ensemble that constitute a quantum brain are equally real: no choice has yet been made among them. Consequently, and this is the key point, entire ensemble acts as a whole in the determination of the upcoming mind-brain event. Each thought is associated with the actualization of some macroscopic quasi-stable features of the brain. Thus the reduction event is a macroscopic happening. Moreover, this event involves, dynamically, the entire ensemble of quasi-classical brain states.
http://www-physics.lbl.gov/~stapp/vnr.pdf

  
AlexCaledin
Member
Posts: 62
From: Samara, Russia
Joined: 10-22-2016


Message 34 of 62 (797701)
01-25-2017 6:28 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Son Goku
12-29-2016 10:12 AM


Re: Quantum Interpretations - Bell's theorem
The "Process Formulation" of QM seems reconciling all the interpretations
(if Many Worlds are understood as the Potentiality),
introducing the distinction between "Einstein Time" and "Process Time",
quote:
To comprehend the significance of time in modern physics one must distinguish two very different kinds of time. The first I call "process time," the second "Einstein time." Process time is the time associated with a cumulative process whereby things gradually become fixed and settled. Einstein time is the time part of the space-time continuum of contemporary physics. Contemporary physical theory establishes no connection at all between these two kinds of time, for it says nothing about process. It deals rather with the content of observations. Each observation has a content that includes, in principle, a clock and ruler reading. These readings assign to the observation a place in the space-time continuum. But whether the data represented in one observation become fixed and settled before or after the data represented in some other observation is not determined by contemporary physics: one can equally well imagine either that everything becomes fixed and settled all at once, in some single act of creation, and hence that neither process nor process time exists, or, alternatively, that things become fixed and settled in some definite order. These two possibilities are not empirically distinguishable. Indeed, Einstein's analysis of the meaning of time in physics made it clear that time enters physics only through the content of observations that say nothing at all about the order in which things become fixed and settled. His analysis effectively banished the concept of process from the physical theory of his era. Of course, in the deterministic framework within which Einstein himself worked, process could be no real issue. The deterministic laws ensured that everything was fixed and settled by the initial act of creation. Thus there could be no process. Hence the real impact of Einstein's analysis of time came only later, when quantum theory introduced indeterminism. In this latter context the idea of process arises naturally, at least at the conceptual level. But the founders of quantum theory, following Einstein's lead, circumvented the problems associated with process by asserting that the quantum-mechanical formalism "merely offers rules of calculation for the deduction of expectations about observations obtained under well-defined experimental conditions specified by classical physical concepts." Quantum theory has, nevertheless, one feature that suggests that it should be formulated as a theory of process. The wave function of the quantum theory is most naturally interpreted as representing "tendencies" or "potentia" for actual events. This intuitive idea of the meaning of the wave function was first made explicit by David Bohm in his 1951 textbook, Quantum Theory.
...
The process formulation of quantum theory contains no explicit dependence on human observers: it allows quantum theory to be regarded as a theory describing the actual unfolding or development of the universe itself, rather than merely a tool by which scientists can, under special conditions, form expectations about their observations. The quantum theory of process is in general in accord with the ideas of the physicist, logician, and process philosopher Alfred North Whitehead. In particular, the actual is represented not by an advancing, infinitely thin slice through the space-time continuum, but rather by a sequence of actual becomings, each of which refers to a bounded spacetime region: event number n is represented, within physical theory, by a restriction on the set of classical fields allowed in the bounded space time region R(n). We have, therefore, neither becoming in three-dimensional space nor being in the four-dimensional world, but rather becoming in the four-dimensional world. Event number n is represented in physical theory by a restriction upon the classical fields allowed in the bounded space-time region R(n). This restriction induces, through the quantum formalism, changes in the tendencies for the next event. These changes in tendencies are manifested over all of space-time -- i.e., even if the region R(n+1) is spacelike situated relative to R(n). This change in tendencies is the nonlocal change that is associated with the collapse of the wave function in some formalisms and, more generally, with Bell's theorem. The tendencies are calculated in the quantum formalism by using Feynman's sum over all space-time paths. In the S-matrix formulation, these paths extend in time, in general, from minus infinity to plus infinity: they do not terminate in the region R(n). Thus as regards tendencies the entire space-time continuum of relativity theory is involved in each step of the process of becoming. But as regards actualities each actual event is associated with a bounded region in space-time. The conception of process described above differs from Whitehead's because it has no place for his "contemporary events." However, because Whitehead stressed so often that these awkward contemporary events were forced upon him by the physics of his time, rather than by his general principles, it is, I think, safe to infer that, had he known about the nonlocal connections entailed by Bell's theorem, he never would have mutilated his theory by the introduction of these contemporary events.
The quotations above are from the book "Physics and the Ultimate Significance of Time", pages 264, 267.

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AlexCaledin
Member
Posts: 62
From: Samara, Russia
Joined: 10-22-2016


(1)
Message 40 of 62 (800123)
02-20-2017 7:15 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Son Goku
01-27-2017 4:31 PM


Re: The Cosmic Toothpaste Tube
do you mean "loads of different universes, with different properties" or do you mean the QM version, that is multiple timelines of the same universe.

There is no actual need to distinguish between them. Just imagine that you have a real great Computer simulating, all at once, the whole mathematical object of Physics: ALL the universes, with all the different properties and all their "timelines" (each "timeline" from the very beginning to the very end) appear together in your computer memory at once.

Your computer is representing your toy reality for you as the multitude of events ready to be observed. The first simple game rule is that, choosing an event to observe, you automatically dismiss all the events that are physically incompatible with your chosen one.

Now, the most interesting thing to observe appears to be the good nature on a certain planet. You can't help choosing it of course ― thus killing irreversibly all the other variants of universes with different properties and all the other variants of evolution in you chosen universe ― and there you are, having just created your brand new world with beautiful creatures on the earth and ugly fossils under the earth (and "big-bang" radiation from the sky) ― and it's the very first day of actual observation although some new creatures (esp. serpents)) may well babble about billions years ― they all naturally emerged with such memory.
...
After that, you continue your game of observation introducing new players who later discover the "quantum mechanics" and become puzzled about "wavefunction collapse"...


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AlexCaledin
Member
Posts: 62
From: Samara, Russia
Joined: 10-22-2016


Message 45 of 62 (826240)
12-26-2017 9:24 PM


of course there are loads of universes - all (pre)conceived in God's Mind in order to organize the Game; and there is the Process of awareness selecting the actual course of the avalanche of observed events, thus discarding most of the potential universes; and our human minds are subprocesses introduced within that Process, to become new players of the Game, dealing with our brain events.

  
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